Galettes des Rois (king cakes) and the Nabatean Spice Route

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In January 2014 I visited vineyards in the Negev desert and the archaeological remains of the ancient Nabatean kingdom. Splendid remains of buildings and extensive evidence of large scale agriculture, complex irrigation systems and large scale winemaking, indicate the richness of this area in ancient times.

Avdat

Remains of the Nabatean city of Avdat, looking out over the Spice Trail across the Negev

The 1st century BCE historian Strabo described the Nabateans as being ‘temperate and industrious,’ although the king enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle, dressed in purple (a luxury in those days), drinking wine in golden beakers and being entertained by dancing girls. Continue reading