Mamshit Negev Reviews
Mamshit a Nabatean town in the Negev Aug 13, 2011
The traders and skilled water-conservationists known as the Nabataeans built this city in the 1st century CE. It was later taken over by the Romans (who called it Memphis) and expanded vigorously under the Byzantines before being deserted after the Moslem conquest of 636 CE.
Much of the strong city wall built by the Romans still stands. The impressive remains of the 6th-7th-century Byzantine churches have large, colourful mosaics over parts of the floors. As you wander around the ruins of Nabataean constructions that were added to, and used, by successive occupiers, make sure to walk down towards the part near the entrance booth. Here you will find one Nabataean room that was plastered and painted over by the Romans. The frescoes - which are unique for their period and place - include a representation of Eros and Psyche sitting on a couch, and identified by their Greek names.
A few meters left of this room was the scene of a sensational find during the excavations from 1965-67. A bronze jar hidden in a stairwell contained more than 10,000 silver Roman coins from the 1st and 2nd centuries CE. They are now in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Other sites include reservoirs, baths, a Nabataean palace and Nabataean and Roman graves one kilometre north of the town. This place is open dailay with an entrance fee of 22 shekels.
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