(For more information on Nabateans, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabataeans
Mamshit is the Nabatean city of Memphis/Mampsis. It was built in the 1st center BCE as a trading post on the way from Petra to Gaza. In the Nabatean period, Mamshit is situated on one of the important branches of the Incense Route – it sat on the route from the Idumean Mountains to the Arava, which passed through Ma’ale Akrabim and continued on to Beersheva or to Hebron and Jerusalem.
This city too was declared a world heritage site--in 2005.
|Artist picture of wall and one gate|
|That wall and gate today|
|Thick gate up close|
When trade in Mamshit waned with the Roman occupation, the occupants made a living by raising Arabian horses, bringing great wealth to their city. During the Byzantine period Mamshit also received support from the authorities for being a frontier city. When this funding dried up, at the time of Justinian, and the city was attacked by Nomads in the 6th century, it died a natural death and was never again inhabited.
The reconstructed city gives the visitor a sense of how Mamshit once looked. Entire streets have survived intact, and there are also large groups of Nabataean buildings with open rooms, courtyards, and terraces.
|Mamshit in Byzantine period|
The morning that we visited, we were the only ones there except for two workers.
|Artist rendition of marketplace|
|Entry to Marketplace with Haim and Howard in the photo|
|Center of the marketplace|
|Arch in Nabatean house|
|Church floor mosaic|
|Nave ? of church--see cross on the floor|
|Cistern next to church|
|Water supply and the bathhouse|
|Bathhouse from afar--Howard the speck in the middle|
|Channel connecting reservoir to bathhouse|
It was two stories tall and 1600 square meters in size, which is more than 17,200 square feet. It had two wings, the residential quarters and another area which included stables for horse breeding which could hold up to 20 horses.
|Location of the house in the town|
|Artist rendition of Nabato House|
|Room in Nabato House|
|Large room in that home|
|Capitals on columns in the home|
|Staircase to second floor|
|Overview of several rooms|
|Artist rendition of stable area|
|Actual stable area|
|Nabato House column collection|