Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The discoverers of that lost bit of Incense Route

NABATEAN (NABATAEAN) WATCH: 86-year-old guide helps discover section of Incense Route lost for millennia. Traversing 100 kilometers in five days, Shuka Ravek fulfills dream and walks from Petra to Avdat in the footsteps of Nabateans (Amanda Borschel Dan, Times of Israel).
At 86, the grandfather of Israeli hiking finally fulfilled a decades-long dream.

Over five days, trailblazing outdoorsman Yehoshua “Shuka” Ravek traversed some 100 kilometers (62 miles) by foot, walking from Petra, Jordan, to Avdat in the Israeli Negev. From February 18-23, Ravek walked along with a group of some 40 Israelis and, before crossing the border, a handful of Jordanians — and two camels.

Why the camels? The octogenarian’s goal was to accurately retrace the steps of the ancient Incense Route, laid down circa 3rd century BCE by Nabatean traders. He wanted to see if the path, first used by the mysterious desert dwellers and later by the Roman invaders, could really have supported this means of transportation.

And if fulfilling a dream wasn’t enough, on the final day, the group of hikers discovered and mapped out a “lost” 7.5 km (4.6 miles) section of the path that had eluded searching scholars for decades.

I noted the discovery of the lost stretch of the Incense Route here. The current article gives additional historical and human interest background.

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