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Shivta is an archaeological site in the Negev Desert of Israel, east of Nitzana. Long considered a classic Nabataean town and terminal on the ancient spice route, archaeologists are now considering the possibility that the town was actually a Byzantine agricultural colony (in the 6th and 7th Century CE) and a way station for pilgrims en route to the Santa Catarina, Egypt , located on the supposed site of Mount Sinai. The Shivta site contains three Byzantine churches, 2 wine-press, residential areas and administrative buildings. Shivta was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO on June 2005 .