Mamshit, also known as Memphis or Kurnub, was an ancient Nabataean city founded in what is now Israel in the 1st century AD. Built on a hilltop, the city was part of the Nabatean kingdom that stretched from Saudi Arabia to Syria.
Mamshit was an important trading post and an important station on the Incense Route, which led from southern Arabia through the Nabataean cities to the Mediterranean Sea. The city was known for its handicrafts, particularly the manufacture of jewellery, textiles and leather goods. Some of the buildings in Mamshit, such as the Rich Man’s House, testify to the wealth and luxury life enjoyed by some of the Nabataeans in the city.
In AD 106, the Romans conquered the Nabataean Kingdom and annexed Mamshit and other Nabataean cities. The city subsequently became part of the Roman province of Arabia Petraea and experienced a period of prosperity and growth under Roman rule. However, Mamshit lost importance over time and was conquered by the Arabs in the 7th century AD.
The city was then largely abandoned and fell into obscurity. Today, Mamshit is an important archaeological site that can be visited and provides insight into Nabataean life and Roman rule in the region.