Located in one of the most remote parts of the Negev, Metsad Nekarot was once a road station along the important ‘Incense Route’. About 2,000 years ago, caravans passed here, loaded with valuables, on their way to Mediterranean ports. The fort was probably built by the Nabatean and was later used also by the Romans. Its state of preservation is exceptional, with some of the walls more than 10 feet height. Next to the fort is water reservoir completely intact.
The Incense Route and the Negev
The ‘Incense Route’ was a network of ancient roads that enabled transferring precious spices and perfumes across the Arabian Peninsula to the Mediterranean coast. The full length and exact path of the Incense Route is still not fully known. It began somewhere in Yemen, passed through Mecca, Medina, Petra, and ended in the ports of Gaza and El-Arish. The path from Petra to the Mediterranean coast is better documented. It passed the Aravah and the traversed through the heart of the Negev, including a difficult cross of the Ramon Crater. Today, the route and its related archaeological sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.