Incense Route - Desert Cities in the Negev, Tsofar

#6 of 17 in Things to do in Ramat Negev
World heritage site · Historic Site · Tourist Spot
Incense Route – Desert Cities in the Negev is a World Heritage-designated area near the end of the Incense Route in the Negev, southern Israel, which connected Arabia to the Mediterranean in the Hellenistic-Roman period, proclaimed as being of outstanding universal value by UNESCO in 2005. The trade led to the development of ancient towns, forts and caravanserai en route, apart from agricultural development.

Four towns in the Negev Desert, which flourished during the period from 300 BC to 200 AD, are linked directly with the Mediterranean terminus of both the Incense Road and spice trade routes: Avdat, Haluza, Mamshit, and Shivta. As a group, these desert cities demonstrate the lucrative trade in frankincense and myrrh that took place from Yemen in south Arabia to the port of Gaza on the Mediterranean. At its height, the route included cities, Qanat irrigation systems, fortresses, and caravanserai. Vestiges of these works are still visible, and demonstrate the use of the desert for commerce and agriculture.

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  • we came thursday evening, and we stayed at a private room, very quiet and coozy. we had a wonderful dinner, at the nait tent. there are animals for the kids. and a hot pool, at the top of the...  more »
  • Thank you for the wonderful hosting! we came with the whole extended family for a night including dinner and breakfast and we enjoyed every minute. The place is very comfortable and clean, kids...  more »
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