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Petra and the Lost Kingdom of the Nabataeans

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The Nabataean Arabs, one of the most remarkable peoples of the ancient world, are today known only for their hauntingly beautiful rock-carved capital - Petra. Here, in the wild and grand landscapes of southern Jordan they created some of the most prodigious works of man - an entire city hewn out of the mountains. Although their civilization was ignored and almost lost for 1500 years, the Nabataeans were famous in their day and their power extended over great areas of the Biblical Middle East. Though seen most ...

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Overview

The Nabataean Arabs, one of the most remarkable peoples of the ancient world, are today known only for their hauntingly beautiful rock-carved capital - Petra. Here, in the wild and grand landscapes of southern Jordan they created some of the most prodigious works of man - an entire city hewn out of the mountains. Although their civilization was ignored and almost lost for 1500 years, the Nabataeans were famous in their day and their power extended over great areas of the Biblical Middle East. Though seen most clearly at Petra, vivid traces of Nabataean creativity and control also appear in the Hejaz region of Arabia, among the wild rock formations of Wadi Rum, along trade and pilgrimage routes in the Sinai, and in towns and temples throughout Jordan and into Syria.

The Nabataean flame was snuffed out by the masters of realpolitik of the day - the Romans. But the afterglow of their genius continued to illuminate succeeding generations, long after their name and their kingdom disappeared and Petra ceased to be a major city.

This richly illustrated book recounts the story of a remarkable but lost civilization, and the capacity of its people to adapt and diversify their skills as necessity demanded. It tells of their nomadic origins, the development of their multifaceted culture, their relations with their more famous neighbours and the demise of their kings and kingdom. It also looks at their continued, if nameless, survival as Christians and farmers in the Byzantine Empire.

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Editorial Reviews

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

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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848850200
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/13/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.00 (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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Table of Contents

Maps
• Preface
• Prelude
• They Came from Arabia
• Into a Habitation of Dragons
• Friends, Foes and Neighbours
• Days of Glory, Days of Dust
• The Miracle of Petra
• The Delicate Magic of Life
• Language, Script and Graffiti
• Babatha
• Afterglow of Empire
• Epilogue
• Notes
• Glossary
• Chronology
• Bibliography
• Index

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