Sharon Levy Schajer
(Pesach 2014) Just spent the day in Mamshit near Dimona. It was about an hour and a half drive from Modiin. There was a Bedouin style market with lots of things to buy from jewellery to carpets (I think I read that this only happens on pesach and sukkot). Also a tour of the well kept Nabatean village lasting just over half an hour. A few workshops such as coloured sand in bottles and chocolate making, and some shows going on too. Free admission with the Matmon card, but easy to spend money in the market and on the workshops. Worth a visit if you’re nearby or don’t mind the drive!’
‘Mamshit, a Nabatean city in the Negev near the modern town of Dimona, rose to prominence because of its location on the road connecting the Mountains of Edom in Transjordan via the Arava Valley to Beer Sheva and north to Hebron and Jerusalem. At 40 dunams (10 acres), Mamshit is the smallest of the Negev’s Nabatean cities. It is also the best restored, its once-opulent dwellings featuring architectural elements unknown in other Nabatean cities.
When trade in Mamshit declined following the Roman occupation, the inhabitants made a successful living raising Arabian steeds. Later, Byzantine Mamshit was supported by authorities as a frontier city but after the time of Emperor Justinian the city ceased to exist.
Visitors can see evidence of restoration in Mamshit’s streets, as well as Nabatean complexes featuring rooms, courtyards and terraces made of meticulously dressed stone, with strong arches to support the ceilings.
Two impressive churches were discovered in Mamshit. The western “Nile Church” features a mosaic floor with colorful geometric patterns, birds, a fruit basket, and five Greek inscriptions. In the eastern church are the remnants of a pulpit on small marble pillars.’
How to get there: Mamshit National Park is located on the Be’er Sheva-Dimona road (no. 25) about 8 km southeast of Dimona.