The last person who has carefully examined this locality is lieut. Conder, who thus describes it (Tent-work in Palestine, ii, 94 sq.):
"The scenery was tame and featureless, with a single dark tell in front, and white marl peaks capped with flint to the west.. We ascended the tell or mound of Seba, which is two and a half miles east of the wells of Beersheba, and thence we had a fine view of the great boundary valley which limited our work on the south, joiniing the long raville which comes down from Hebron, anil running west in a broad, flat, gravelly bed, between high walls of brown earth. The pebbles were white and dry, yet water-worn, for, as we found in the following spring, a river will occasionally flow for hours along the wady bed. East of us were remarkable chalk-hills called el Ghurrah, and on the west a low ridge shut out the maritime plain. To the north were the hills of Judah, dotted with lotus-trees; and to the south stretched the endless desert of the wanderings. The desert of Beersheial is a beautiful pasture-land in spring, when the grass and flowers cover the gray mud, as in the Jordan valley; but in November it is very desolate. Not a tree exists near the wells, and only the foundation of a once flourishing town of the 4th century remains. The sides of all the wells are furrowed with the ropes of the water-drawers; but we made one discovery which was rather disappointing, namely, that the masonry is not very ancient. Fifteen courses down, on the south side of the large well, there is a stone with an inscription in Arabic, on a tablet dated, as well as I could make out, A. H. 505, or in the 12th century. The stone must be at least as old as those at the mouth. The wells have no parapets." SEE WELL.
Canon Tristram thus describes the ancient remains on the north of the wady (Bible Places, p. 22):
"Long lines of foundations mark the ancient city, or rather village — a very large, unwalled place with a garrison. The ruins are about half a mile in extent, but scattered, and include the foundations of a Greek church, with apse, sacristy, and aisles. Only a figment of the lapse remains above the pavement, although in the 14th century some of the churches were still standing among the ruins are the traces of a Jewish forrtress — a circular tower or keep of double walls, each four feet thick, and with a like space between them. There are manly fragments of pottery strewn about, with occasional bits of glass, and the squares or tesserae of Roman mosaics."