The Holey Land

The Ramon crater is the largest of these dazzling erosions in the northern Negev. Its western end (on the left of the picture) is on the border with Egypt. An observatory on the northern cliffside gives a fine introduction to this 40 kilometer long, 500 meter deep, geological laboratory in nature.



While the Ramon is the largest and the most informative of these formations, the Little Crater is - Jeff believes - the most spectacular. This natural wonder is enhanced by a staggering Roman road cut into the side. The Romans were prepared to go to any lengths (and depths) to tighten their grasp on the spice routes.

The Nabbateans with their capital at Petra, were the last in the chain of tribes that transported spices to the west, primarily via Gaza. In time their strongholds / vegetable stations became towns in the desert.
   One of the Nabbatean spice routes ran through what is known as the large crater - a fair bit smaller than the Ramon Crater - emerging at their town of Mamshit (left edge of the picture in the middle).

Aerial photographs © Sean Quigley 2005