Customs Letter About a Long-Lost Suitcase Leads to Artifacts from Desert with Early ‘Jesus’ Painting; Tom Metcalfe; Live Science
The ancient desert village of Shivta in southern Israel made headlines when archaeologists discovered a wall painting there that is thought to show the baptism of Jesus Christ, the earliest representation of Christ known in Israel.
Source: Customs Letter About a Long-Lost Suitcase Leads to Artifacts from Desert with Early ‘Jesus’ Painting
Photos: The Ancient Ruins of Shivta in Southern Israel; Tom Metcalfe; Live Science
Ancient Shivta in southern Israel was once part of a thriving group of desert cities on a trade route between the Mediterranean coast and the east of Arabia.
Source: Photos: The Ancient Ruins of Shivta in Southern Israel
Jesus image, hidden in plain sight at Negev church, is one of earliest in Israel; Amanda Borschel-Dan; Times of Israel
Youth with ‘short curly hair, a prolonged face, large eyes and an elongated nose’ depicted in faint painting found in circa 6th century Byzantine church in ancient village Shivta…
Source: Jesus image, hidden in plain sight at Negev church, is one of earliest in Israel
Incense Route – Desert Cities in the Negev; Gary; Everything Everywhere
The Incense Route was a network of trade routes extending over two thousand kilometers to facilitate the transport of frankincense and myrrh from the Yemen and Oman in the Arabian Peninsula to the Mediterranean.
The four Nabatean towns of Haluza, Mamshit, Avdat, and Shivta, with their associated fortresses and agricultural landscapes linking them to the Mediterranean, are situated on a segment of this route, in the Negev Desert, in southern Israel. They stretch across a hundred-kilometer section of the desert, from Moa on the Jordanian border in the east to Haluza in the northwest. Together they reflect the hugely profitable trade in Frankincense from south Arabia to the Mediterranean, which flourished from the third century BCE until the second century CE, and the way the harsh desert was colonized for agriculture through the use of highly sophisticated irrigation systems.
Source: Incense Route – Desert Cities in the Negev – UNESCO World Heritage Site
Traveling the ancient Incense Route in the Negev; Abigail Klein Leichman; ISRAEL21c
The Nabateans traversed the hilly desert by camel, but you can do it by car, jeep or bike and see some spectacular scenery along the way.
Close your eyes and travel back in time 2,000 years. You’re riding the back of a camel laden with frankincense and myrrh from faraway Yemen, navigating 100 kilometers (62 miles) across the harsh, hilly Negev Desert to get your precious cargo to the Mediterranean ports.
For 700 years, from the third century BCE until the second century CE, this was the hazardous but hugely profitable task of the nomadic Nabatean people.
Today, the small Israeli portion of the 2,000-kilometer Incense Route – a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is a fascinating trail filled with beautiful desert vistas and archeological discoveries.