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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Israel-Crossroads of History: 'Incense Route' in Negev declared a world heritage si

History is one of the biggest natural resources of Israel. Israel is a tiny country which is mostly important because of its historical significance for world culture. That is the number 1 source of our problems as well a potential source of strength. We should learn how to use it, rather than letting it be our nemesis.

Last update - 06:59 13/03/2007   

Biblical 'Incense Route' in Negev declared a world heritage site
By Irit Rosenblum, Haaretz Correspondent
The ancient Incense Route in the Negev Desert was declared a world heritage site on Monday.
Several other ceremonies are to be held this week to mark the event, which could mean a substantial increase in tourism for sites along the old route.
The main ceremony took place on Monday in Avdat, and was attended by Environment Minister Gideon Ezra as well as director-general of the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority (INPPA) Eli Amitai.
Three other places along the route, Tel Megiddo, Tel Hatzor and Tel Be'er Sheva, are to be declared world heritage sites this Thursday.
Other world heritage sites around the world have seen a tremendous increase in tourism after they had been declared as such, and the various authorities involved in the project hope the Incense Route will be no exception.
The declaration adding the Incense Road to 830 other world heritage sites around the globe was made possible through years of preparatory work by the INPPA and the Negev and Galilee development authorities. These efforts finally bore fruit this week with the final seal of approval by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
One of the most impressive stretches along the Incense Route is the 65-kilometer segment connecting the ancient settlement of Moa (near Tzofar in the Arava Desert) with the ancient Nabatean city of Avdat.
The road is mentioned in the Bible, stating that the "Queen of the South" traveled on the "Gold and Incense Road" to meet King Solomon in Jerusalem. It is also mentioned in the Koran.

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