Studium Theologicum Salesianum
Salesian Pontifical University : Faculty of Theology - Jerusalem Campus
  Beersheva and Mamshit Excursion  

The Ratisbonne community visited Beersheva, Mamshit and the Makhtesh Gadol for its monthly archeological excursion. Below are some interesting details learned about these parts of the Judean Desert (Negev).

Mamshit  is the Nabataean city of Memphis. In the Nabataean period, Mamshit was an important station on Incense Road, running from the Idumean Mountains, through the Arabah and Akrabim, and on to Beer-Sheva or to Hebron and Jerusalem. The city is the smallest but best restored city in the Negev Desert. The once-luxurious houses feature unusual architecture not found in any other Nabataean city.

Beersheba  is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Often referred to as the "Capital of the Negev", it is the fouth-largest city in Israel. Human settlement in the area dates from the Copper Age.  The city has been destroyed and rebuilt many times over the centuries. 

The Makhtesh Gadol is a geological landform considered unique to the Negev desert of Israel and the Sinai Peninsula. Although commonly known as "craters" these formations are more accurately described as being caused by erosion cirques.  The valleys have limited vegetation and soil, containing a variety of different colored rocks and a diverse fauna and flora which has been protected and preserved over millions of years. The best known (and largest) makhtesh is Makhtesh Ramon of Israel's Negev desert.
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