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Israel has several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Masada, the Old City of Acre and the architecturally significant "White City" of Tel Aviv were the first three World Heritage Sites in Israel.

Three other UNESCO sites are archaeological tells, prehistoric mounds that conceal layers of ancient settlement dating back to biblical times or earlier.

The tells of Megiddo, Hazor and Beer Sheba shed light on the history of the different nations that inhabited the Land of Israel in biblical times, particularly the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Megiddo and Hazor were protected by enormous fortress walls with impressive gates, castles, temples, storage rooms, stables and water cisterns.

Other UNESCO sites in Israel are historic desert cities that were active in the time of the Nabatean spice trade. The cities of Ovdat, Shivta, Halutza and Mamsheet are all in the Negev desert.

From the 3rd century BCE to the 3rd century CE, the spice route extended 2,400 km from Yemen via Saudi Arabia and Jordan through the Negev to the Mediterranean Sea and Europe. The route was used to transport frankincense, myrrh, spices, gold, silver, jewellery and fabrics.

Public baths, guard towers, ritual altars and sophisticated irrigation systems were uncovered in these ancient cities.