Israel: Ancient Shivta & Mamshit (Incense Route)

Besides Avdat, there were three other important ancient cities along the incense route – Shivta, Mamshit, and Haluza. All saw the height if their development between 3rd and 2nd centuries BC when the immense reaches of incense trade fostered the growth. The incense trade was the grade route of frankincense and myrrh from south of Arabian peninsulas to the Meddierrainean. Indian spices, precious stones, and silk also came along this route. I got Shivta and Mamshit, both rather isolated in the middle of stark and beautiful Negev Desert. The quality and condition of the ruins are amazing for being so old – both sites are UNESCO World Heritage designated.

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