Incense Route
Archaeology » Heritage sites» Incense Route
Negev Region


Year of Research

    The four Nabatean towns of Haluza, Mamshit, Avdat and Shivta is between associated fortresses and agricultural landscapes in the Negev Desert.They are spread along routes linking them to the Mediterranean end of the incense and spice route.
    Both of them reflect the hugely profitable trade in frankincense and myrrh from south Arabia to the Mediterranean.From the 3rd century BC until the 2nd century AD they were flourished.
    With the vestiges of their sophisticated irrigation systems, urban architectures, forts and caravanserai, they bear evidence to the way in which the harsh desert was settled for trade and agriculture.The Nabatean towns and their trade routes bear eloquent testimony to the economic, social and cultural importance of frankincense to the Hellenistic-Roman world.
    The routes also provided a means of passage not only for frankincense and other trade goods but also for people and ideas.
    The almost fossilized remains of towns, forts, caravanserai and sophisticated agricultural systems strung out along the Incense route in the Negev desert.It displays an outstanding response to a hostile desert environment and one that flourished for five centuries.