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MAMPSIS , city in the Negev. According to Eusebius it was situated between Hebron and Elath, one day's march from Thamara (Onom. 8:8). The Madaba Map shows it between Beersheba and Thamara and calls it Maps. Ptolemy also refers to it as Maps. It appears in the episcopal lists of Palaestina tertia. Mampsis is identified with Kurnub where excavations were conducted by A. Negev from 1966. The town, which is surrounded by a wall, consists of three hillocks. On the western side of the town are the remains of a palace including a guard room, audience hall, records room, and stairs leading to an upper story with balconies; nearby is a tower with office rooms. A complex of residential buildings extending over 1,900 sq. yds. (1,600 sq. m.) on the eastern hill included stables with mangers. Some of the rooms were decorated with frescoes; a hoard of 10,400 Roman tetradrachms was discovered there. Mampsis was apparently settled in about 50 c.e. and continued into Byzantine times; its ruins include two churches. A Nabatean and a Roman military cemetery were found nearby. The remains of several dams were found in the vicinity. New excavations conducted at the site in the 1990s revealed additional Nabatean-Roman remains, including buildings, pottery, and middens.


C.L. Woolley and T.E. Lawrence, The Wilderness of Zin (1915), 121ff.; Kirk, in: pefqs, 70 (1938), 218ff.; A. Reifenberg, Milḥemet ha-Mizra ve-ha-Yeshimon (1950), 62, 130; Applebaum, in: bies, 30 (1956), 224ff.; Negev, in: iej, 16 (1966), 145ff.; 17 (1967), 48ff.; idem, in: Zeitschrift fuer Kunstgeschichte und Archeologie, 7 (1967), 67–86. add. bibliography: T. Erickson-Gini, "Recent Advances in the Research of the Nabatean and Roman Negev," in R. Rosenthal-Heginbottom (ed.), The Nabateans in the Negev (2003).

[Michael Avi-Yonah /

Shimon Gibson (2nd ed.)]