Situated in the Negev desert, the city of Mamshit was founded in the first century BC as a way station on the road between Petra and Gaza. The city thrived during the Nabataean period thanks to its position on the Spice [Incense] Route.
Among the surviving features – apart from two churches, streets and courtyards – the various houses bear witness to the architecture and decoration of the time.
In building XII in the northwestern part of town, there are remains of frescoed wall paintings dated between the end of the second century and the early third century AD. They adorn the walls of a small rectangular room with depictions of the myth of Eros and Psyche; they are framed by painted ornamental tapestry, winged Victories and warriors.
The collapse of the building’s roof and the loss of some external plaster facings left these rare paintings exposed to the elements, causing the loss of part of the decoration.
The CCA’s treatment involved consolidating the frescoes and the wall, fixing the roof, cleaning the surfaces and treatment of lacunae.