Petra and the Lost Kingdom of the Nabataeans

Petra and the Lost Kingdom of the Nabataeans

by Jane Taylor
     
 

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"I very much enjoyed Jane Taylor's book on the Nabataeans. She writes marvelously for her audience. She has complete command of her material and obviously loves it. I was deeply impressed by her book." —G.W. Bowersock, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton The Nabataean Arabs, one of the most gifted peoples of the ancient world, are today known only for their

Overview

"I very much enjoyed Jane Taylor's book on the Nabataeans. She writes marvelously for her audience. She has complete command of her material and obviously loves it. I was deeply impressed by her book." —G.W. Bowersock, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton The Nabataean Arabs, one of the most gifted peoples of the ancient world, are today known only for their hauntingly beautiful rock-carved capital—Petra. Here, in the wild and majestic landscapes of southern Jordan, they created some of the most prodigious works of man in the vast monuments that they chiseled from the sandstone mountains. The very scale of their achievement is breathtaking, but beyond mere magnitude is their creative vision, for they transformed the living rock of Petra into an enduring architectural masterpiece. For nearly two thousand years, their civilization has been lost and all but forgotten. Yet the Nabataeans were famous in their day—Herod the Great and his sons, and a kaleidoscope of Roman emperors, were keenly aware of their power and wealth. Often victims of Greek, Roman, or Herodian duplicity, murder, and power politics, the Nabataeans were major players in the drama of the Middle East in biblical times. This richly illustrated volume recounts the story of a remarkable but lost civilization and the capacity of its people to diversify their skills as necessity demanded. It describes their nomadic origins, the development of their multifaceted culture, their relations with their now famous neighbors, and the demise of their kingdom. It looks at their continued, if unrecognized, survival as Christians and farmers under the Byzantine Empire and into the early years of Islam. "TheNabataeans created Petra—perhaps the single most astonishing site of the ancient world. Now at last, after two thousand years, Jane Taylor has given them the book they deserve."

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Writer and photographer Taylor (High Above Jordan) has created a beautifully illustrated work covering the history of the Nabataeans, an Arab people who lived in the area of present-day southern Jordan and northern Saudi Arabia from about the third century B.C.E. until the sixth century C.E. The Nabataeans remain largely forgotten and are known today mainly for their spectacular rock-hewn city of Petra, located in the rugged mountains of southern Jordan. Taylor provides an intimate look at Nabataean life and culture based on archaeological evidence and written records of the period. She thoroughly examines the development and architecture of Petra and describes the Nabataean domination of the Middle Eastern spice trade, as well as giving detailed information on their changing religious practices over the centuries. For several centuries, Nabataean culture flourished and adapted to many outside influences, including Roman rule. The Nabataean civilization gradually declined beginning in the third century C.E. as overland caravan trade routes ceased to be used. Taylor's clear, incisive writing and copious photographs bring the ancient world of the Nabataeans to life. Highly recommended for archaeology and history collections in academic libraries. Elizabeth Salt, Otterbein Coll. Lib., Westerville, OH
From the Publisher

"The Nabataeans created Petra - perhaps the single most astonishing site of the ancient world. Now at last, after two thousand years, Jane Taylor has given them the book they deserve. She has written a valuable and eminently enjoyable text, while her photographs do more than justice to the story of these extraordinary people." - John Julius Norwich, historian, travel writer and presenter

"I have very much enjoyed Jane Taylor's book on the Nabataeans. She writes marvellously for her audience. She has complete command of her material and obviously loves it. I was deeply impressed by reading the book." - Professor Glen Bowersock, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University

"A vibrant narrative... The stunning photographs are simply not to be missed." - Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

"A full and accessible account of the Nabataean world, which, illuminated by her brilliant photographs, does justice to a great and unjustly forgot ten civilization" - British Museum Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674017559
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
04/30/2005
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Jane Taylor is a writer and photographer whose books include Testament to the Bushman (with Laurens van der Post), High Above Jordan, Petra and Imperial Istanbul (I.B.Tauris, 1998).

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