Ancient Jordan Nabataean Temple Dig Khirbet Et-tannur Petra Stele Statuary Gods

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Seller: ancientgifts (4,620) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 123368678216 When ordering from the US, parcels may be subject to import tax and duty charges, which the buyer is responsible to pay. "The Nabataean Temple at Khirbet Et-tannur, Jordan, Volume 1: Architecture and Religion" by Catherine S. Alexander, Deirdre G. Barrett, Science-Based Archaeology Group Department of Materials Brian Gilmour, Joseph John F. Healey, Judith S. McKenzie, Margaret O'Hea, Andres T. Reyes, Nadine Schibille, Stephan G Schmid, Wilma Wetterstrom, and Sara Whitcher Kansa. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Hardcover with printed boards. Publisher: American Schools of Oriental (2013). Pages: 329. Size: 11 x 8½ x 1 inch; 3+ pounds. Summary: Khirbet et-Tannur is a Nabataean site dating from the second century B.C. to the fourth to sixth centuries A.D. located on a hilltop above the Wadi el-Hasa near Khirbet edh-Dharih, 70 km north of Petra along the King's Highway. In 1937, Nelson Glueck excavated Khirbet et-Tannur on behalf of the American Schools of Oriental Research and the Department of Antiquities of Transjordan, but died before completing a final report. Now in two extensively illustrated volumes, the results of Glueck's excavations are finally published, based on previously unstudied excavation records and archaeological materials in the ASOR Nelson Glueck Archive at the Semitic Museum, Harvard University. Volume 1: Architecture and Religion. Volume 2: Cultic Offerings, Vessels, and Other Specialist Reports. Volume 1 is devoted to the architecture of the temple, the dating of its successive phases, its sculptural decoration and iconography,and to a discussion of Nabataean religion, including the evidence for its connections with the religion of Iron Age Edom and its continuation at the temple of Khirbet et-Tannur well into the Christian era, before the A.D. 363 earthquake brought an end to the site. The volume closes with observations about iconoclasm at Khirbet et-Tannur, Khirbet edh-Dharih and Petra. Volume 2 offers a systematic reorganization of Glueck's original excavation records and presents detailed specialist analyses of the Khirbet et-Tannur faunal and botanical remains, metal, glass, lamps and pottery collected by Glueck in 1937 and now preserved in Semitic Museum's ASOR Nelson Glueck Archive, along with fresh examinations of the Nabataean inscriptions and altars from the site. CONDITION: NEW. HUGE new hardcover with printed boards (no dustjacket, as published). American Schools of Oriental Research (2013) 340 pages. Unblemished in every respect except for faint shelfwear to the covers. Inside the book is pristine; the pages are clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Condition is entirely consistent with new stock from a bookstore environment such as Barnes & Noble or B. Dalton), where otherwise "new" books might show minor signs of shelfwear, consequence simply of being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! Meticulous and accurate descriptions! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 14 days! #8821a. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Khirbet et-Tannur is a Nabataean site dating from the second century B.C. to the fourth to sixth centuries A.D. In 1937, Nelson Glueck excavated the site on behalf of the American Schools of Oriental Research but died before completing a report. Now, in two extensively illustrated volumes, the results of Glueck's excavations are finally published. REVIEW: Judith S. McKenzie lived in a cave while working on The Architecture of Petra. She won the Archaeological Institute of America Wiseman Book Award for "The Architecture of Alexandria and Egypt, 300 B.C.-A.D. 700" (Pelican History of Art). She is University Research Lecturer in Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, and Director of the Khirbet et-Tannur project. Joseph A. Greene is Deputy Director and Curator of the Semitic Museum, Harvard University, and Series Editor of the Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Andres T. Reyes is member of Wolfson College, Oxford. He is an archaeologist who teaches Greek and Latin at Groton School. He is the author of "Archaic Cyprus" (Oxford University Press) and editor of C. S. Lewis's "Lost Aeneid" (Yale University Press). Catherine S. Alexander is an archaeological artist for the Archaeological Expedition to Sardis (Turkey), Harvard University. Deirdre G. Barrett is a Research Associate of the Semitic Museum, Harvard University, and a specialist in ancient lamps. Brian Gilmour is a metallurgist at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford. John F. Healey is Professor of Semitic Studies at Manchester University. Margaret O'Hea is Senior Lecturer in Classics, University of Adelaide (Australia). Nadine Schibille is Lecturer in Byzantine at History, University of Sussex (England), and was a research chemist at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford. Stephan G. Schmid is Professor of Classical Archaeology at the Winckelmann-Institut, Humboldt University, Berlin. Wilma Wetterstrom is Research Associate in Botany in the Harvard University Herbaria. Sara Whitcher Kansa is Executive Director of the Alexandria Archive Institute (Berkeley, CA), Editor of Open Context, and a specialist in zooarchaeology. Kate da Costa is Honorary Research Affiliate in Archaeology, University of Sydney, and a specialist in ancient lamps. Patrick Degryse is Research Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the Geology Centre for Archaeological Sciences, University of Leuven (Belguim). The late Sheila Gibson was an archaeological artist best-known for her reconstruction drawings in J. B. Ward-Perkins' Roman Imperial Architecture. Owen Gingerich is Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and History of Science at Harvard University. Elias Khamis is Research Associate in Classics, University of Oxford, and a specialist in ancient metal work. TABLE OF CONTENTS: Preface and Acknowledgements by Judith S. McKenzie.. Abbreviations. PART 1: ARCHITECTURE AND RELIGION. Chapter 1. Introduction by Judith S. McKenzie. The Discovery of Khirbet et-Tannur. Glueck’s Methodology. Publication of Khirbet et-Tannur. The Present Study. Appendix 1.1: List of Workmen at Khirbet et-Tannur. Appendix 1.2: The Tell el-Kheleifeh Division and Shipping. Chapter 2. Architecture and Phases Judith S. McKenzie. The Site. Khirbet edh-Dharih. Early Phases. Main Construction Phase (Period 2): Altar Platform 2, Cult Statues, Zodiac, Inner Temenos Enclosure, Temenos, and Triclinia. Repairs ofPeriod 3: Altar Platform 3, Pair of Niches, and Colonnades. Unplaced Architectural and Sculptural Fragments of Periods 2 and 3. Later Worship and Destruction. Appendix 2.1: List of Sculptural and Architectural Fragments in Cincinnati Art Museum by Judith S. McKenzie and Joseph A. Greene. Chapter 3. Iconographic Program Judith S. McKenzie and Andres T. Reyes. Introduction. The Epigraphic Evidence for Qos, and the La'aban Spring. Iconography of the Qos Stele. The Cult Statues. Vegetation Goddess Panel. Tyche. Light at Night: the Moon and Figures with Torches. Nike Caryatid Supporting the Zodiac. The Zodiac. Busts on the Inner Temenos Enclosure Frieze. Free-standing Animals. Period 3 Iconographic Additions. Overall Interpretation. Appendix 3.1: A Note on Attempts to Date the Zodiac by Owen Gingerich. Appendix 3.2: A Note on the Zodiac Lamp from Petra by Kate da Costa. Chapter 4. Religious Practice Judith S. McKenzie and Andres T. Reyes. Introduction. High Place and Pilgrimage Centre: Summary of Local Context and Chronology. Food for the Gods. Offertory Boxes. North-east and West Altars. Personal Dedications: Incense Altars and Stelai / Betyls. Feeding the Worshippers. Lamps. The Lack of Terracotta Figurines. Edomite Heritage: Offerings and Sanctuary Design. Festival Occasions. From How Far Did the Worshippers Come? The Designs of the Temples at Khirbet edh-Dharih and Khirbet et-Tannur Compared with Other Nabataean Temples. Internal Podia, Platforms, and Adyta. Deities in the Temples of Petra. Positions of Altars. Worshipping Standing Stones: Cult Statues, Altars, and Podia / Thrones. The Nabataean Legacy. Appendix 4.1: Note on a Hand-modeled Terracotta Animal Figurine by Andres T. Reyes. Chapter 5. Iconoclasm at Khirbet et-Tannur and Petra Judith S. McKenzie. Damage to Relief Sculptures at Petra and Medain Saleh. Damage at Khirbet edh-Dharih. Damage at Khirbet et-Tannur. The Nabataean Legacy in Early Islamic Art. Glossary. Maps. Bibliographical Abbreviations. Bibliography. Sources of Illustrations. Index. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: The site of Khirbet et-Tannur (“Ruins of the Oven”) lies immediately southeast of the Dead Sea and 70 km north of Petra on an isolated peak, a promontory between the Wadi al-Hasa (the biblical Zered) and its major southern affluent, the Wadi al-Laban. It is on the King’s Highway, the major north–south route east of the Dead Sea; the Via Nova Traiana passed 4 km to the east. Khirbet et-Tannur was a Nabataean temple complex, an outlier of the village of Khirbet edh-Dharih, which lies at a spring 7 km south. The lack of a permanent water source at Tannur meant that it was not a location of habitation but rather a place of pilgrimage at the Nabataean temple whose ruins make up the site. It consists of a forecourt with a rectangular temple to the rear and various rooms on the north and south, all together in a single integrated complex. The earliest occupation was from the second century B.C.E. (although Edomite settlements in the region are from as much as five centuries earlier), and the flourishing period was probably in the first and second centuries C.E. There was a major destruction in the fourth century, and, except for occasional visitors, there was no further occupation; there is no evidence of Christian structures. The site remained unknown until the 1930s and was excavated by Nelson Glueck, director of the Jerusalem School, in 1937. Initial publication was in a number of preliminary summaries, but the final report, a portion of the volume Deities and Dolphins: The Story of the Nabataeans (London), did not appear until 1965. This long delay, in part generated by World War II and the regional conflict thereafter, meant that the work contained many inaccuracies and omissions, with much of the material from the site not discussed. This led to the re-analysis in the first decade of the 21st century of both Khirbet et-Tannur itself and Glueck’s excavation, the subject of the present report. This handsome and lavishly illustrated two-volume set is the most thorough analysis of Khirbet et-Tannur ever published, and it will certainly be the final word on the site for many years to come. Created by a team of nearly 20 authors and specialists, it is a complete examination of all material from the site, beginning with the records and artifacts from Glueck’s excavations. The records are mostly in the Semitic Museum at Harvard University, as are many of the artifacts, others of which are in Amman and Cincinnati. Under the able supervision of McKenzie, the documents were reexamined and many of the artifacts published for the first time. The largest part of the publication, most of volume 1, is devoted to the architecture. An introduction describes Glueck’s excavations and publication, and the analysis is particularly interesting because of its many historic photographs and plans. This is followed by an intense and thorough examination of the complex, also with many illustrations and plans. Following the discussion of the architecture there is an examination of the sculpture, which is the most familiar material culture from Khirbet et-Tannur (1:178–230). The various cult statues are illustrative about Nabataean religion, but the authors are candid that their interpretation remains vague. Representations of various divinities are apparent, including the divine couple (whose local names are not known). Particularly interesting is a statue of Tyche with a zodiac ring (1: figs. 357, 358): an intriguing note by eminent historian of astronomy Owen Gingerich explores the contacts between himself and Glueck and an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to date the ring through its symbols (1:228). Since Khirbet et-Tannur was a religious center, there is a long discussion of cultic practices (1:231–68). Any discussion of Nabataean religion remains problematic because of the lack of texts—one is reminded of issues regarding prehistoric North American cultures—and interpretation must rely on the architecture and other elements seen as cultic, as well as sacrificial remnants (zoological and botanical material [1:235–40]), including animal bones and food items. Khirbet et-Tannur was unusually rich in such items, and they are carefully discussed and displayed. There is also a detailed consideration, for comparative purposes, of other Nabataean cultic sites in the region, including Petra. An interesting appendix (1:264–66) looks at the survival of Nabataean cult places today, such as Jebal Haroun, near Petra, which is still revered as the burial place of Aaron. The last chapter of the first volume is about iconoclasm at the site (1:269–90). That this occurred is obvious, given the vandalized state of many of the heads of the sculptures. The date for this damage cannot be determined beyond a terminus post quem of the fourth century C.E., when the complex was destroyed. Suggestions for the perpetrators have included Christian or Islamic iconoclasts or modern vandals, but exact chronological details are not forthcoming. By making a regional examination of iconoclasm, including several other sites as well as Petra, McKenzie has provided an insightful study of the entire issue. As a final part of volume 1 there is an architectural glossary—always useful—with many line drawings, which are especially valuable in showing the numerous types of capitals. Volume 2 is in two parts. The first (chapters 6–8) is a fascinating account of the examination of Glueck’s records and nonarchitectural finds, including both his notebooks and a vast amount of material remains other than sculpture. This is an amazing archive of a pre-war excavation, including not only the notebooks but also registration and pottery lists, photographs, nearly 6,000 sherds, and a variety of material culture. One faces the existential issue of connecting these records to the site itself, since inevitably the final shape of the ruins could not be known until the end of the excavations. Another problem is the relationship between the artifacts and the temple complex: archaeology in the 1930s was quite different from that practiced today, to say the least, and much less was known about Nabataean culture. The present report includes a publication of an edited version of Glueck’s notebook and registration list (2:19–45). Journals from early excavations are perhaps less valuable as archaeological records than as cultural phenomena, but they are important nonetheless, here serving not only as a window into events in the region at the time that it was called the Emirate of Transjordan under the British Mandate but also as an insight into the vicissitudes of early field projects. The registry lists provide the discovery dates of all the sculpture so familiar today. The remainder of the volume is devoted to several reports by various specialists. First, by Healey, is an account of the Nabataean inscriptions, combining the original drawings (always the most valuable medium) with new photographs. There are only four, dating from the late first century B.C.E. and all dedicatory. Of particular interest is that they reveal a local variant to the more standard Nabataean script used at Petra. This report is followed by one on the altars, by Reyes and McKenzie, including both the main Altar Platform and a number of smaller incense altars. More than a dozen of these are known, in limestone or sandstone, ranging throughout the entire period of occupation and becoming more elaborate, with Graeco-Roman style decoration, in the later periods. In his excavation, Glueck found hundreds of animal bones, which were analyzed and catalogued by Whitcher Kansa. Not all could be identified, due to their small size and burning, but most, not unexpectedly, are from sheep and goat. What could be learned about species, particular body parts, and age demonstrates that the animals were used for ritual purposes not subsistence. Unusual for his era, Glueck saved a few plant remains. There are only six examples, which were analyzed by Wetterstrom. Four are cereal grains, presumably what was left of burnt offerings. Despite the limited nature of the evidence, it is valuable for understanding the ritual processes of the site. In addition, a few metal objects were found, including door hinges and some nails (there was an ironworking industry a few kilometers away). Perhaps more interesting are the four surviving coins discovered at the site (2:135–37): two Seleucid and two Nabataean issues, one of the former from Antioch. A thorough examination of the glass was performed by O’Hea (2:145–57). Much of it is too fragmentary for detailed analysis, but those fragments that can be dated are from the third into the fourth century C.E. and seem to demonstrate that glassware was used only during the last period of occupation. Most were thought to represent vessels used in ritual dining. The place of origin, as determined through chemical analysis by Schibille and Degryse (1:159–72), was either Egypt or the Levantine coast, as might be expected. Other finds from the 1937 season include a large number of lamps and lamp fragments (discussed by Barrett) and thousands of pottery sherds (examined by Schmid, Alexander, and McKenzie). The lamps range from the second into the sixth century C.E., well beyond the primary occupation of the site. The pottery is mostly from the second through fourth centuries C.E., but the corpus includes Nabataean painted ware from as early as the late second century B.C.E., perhaps a surprise. Most of the sherds are from vessels used in the ritual operation of the complex. Rarely has this reviewer seen so useful and attractive an excavation report. This is all the more impressive because of the vicissitudes of attempting to integrate the evidence for an excavation of 80 years ago, performed under the strictures of that era and whose records and material culture are widely dispersed, with the present state of the site—an immense task admirably performed by the principal investigator and her colleagues. The hundreds of plans and illustrations, both contemporary and historic and many in color, enhance the report. The narrative is clear, concise, and informative, and the catalogues are useful but not intrusive. This is a model publication about a little-known yet essential part of the ancient world, revealing a site whose interpretation has languished for half a century. [Ohio State University]. REVIEW: These two volumes form the long-awaited publication of the excavations undertaken at Khirbet et-Tannur, in southern Jordan, in 1937 by Nelson Glueck, then the director of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem, supported by a team of archaeologists, architects, draftsmen and photographers. These excavations were never fully published because of the delay imposed by World War II and due to Glueck’s busy career, particularly, from 1947 onwards, as president of the Cincinnati Hebrew Union College. This publication offers for the first time to the academic world a complete study of all the artifacts that were collected or uncovered during Glueck’s excavations. This explains the large number of contributors, each of whom took charge of one category of artifacts: Sarah Whitcher Kansa the bones; Wilma Wetterstrom the seeds; Deirdre G. Barrett the lamps; Stephan G. Schmid and Catherine S. Alexander the pottery; Margaret O’Hea the glassware; Judith McKenzie, Andres Reyes and Elias Khamis the metal objects; and John F. Healey the inscriptions. In addition, Nadine Schibille presented the chemical analysis of the glassware; Patrick Degryse published the findings of the isotopic analysis; and David Gilmour offered a microstructural analysis of an iron hinge. Two short contributions, one on the zodiac of Tannur by Owen Gingerich and one on the well-known zodiac lamp from Petra by Kate da Costa, complement the panel of studies. The context of the finds was noted whenever possible by McKenzie, who also proposed a new interpretation of the chronology and phases of the temple complex, followed by hypotheses on the architectural reconstructions. The result is a praiseworthy multidisciplinary work. The publication consists of two volumes. The first contains Part I – Architecture and Religion, while the second contains Part II – Excavation Records, and Part III – Specialist Reports. The latter are devoted to the various categories of artifacts listed above and constitute ten independent chapters of 160 pages altogether. The excavation records that constitute Part II provide the reader, at the beginning of the second volume, with the following three useful documents: a list of the loci as they appear in Glueck’s excavation records, a transcript of Glueck’s excavation journal, and Glueck’s registration book. Each volume is provided with its own index and list of illustrations. The majority of the photographs are black and white prints from Glueck’s archive. Rarely has this reviewer seen so useful and attractive an excavation report. This is all the more impressive because of the vicissitudes of attempting to integrate the evidence for an excavation of 80 years ago, performed under the strictures of that era and whose records and material culture are widely dispersed, with the present state of the site - an immense task admirably performed by the principal investigator and her colleagues. The hundreds of plans and illustrations, both contemporary and historic and many in color, enhance the report. The narrative is clear, concise and informative, and the catalogues are useful but not intrusive. This is a model publication about a little-known yet essential part of the ancient world, revealing a site whose interpretation has languished for half a century. As stated by Duane W. Roller (American Journal of Archaeology): "All these studies are extremely useful because they make an enormous amount of old and often unknown material available to scholars, not only those interested in the Nabataeans but also those interested in the ancient Middle East in general, in religion and rituals, in technology and in various sorts of archaeological material. The enormous number of documents studied by the authors, their nature (an archive), and the fact that the excavation took place more than seventy years ago added to the complexity of the project and made this publication a real tour de force." (Laila Nehme, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, June 2015) REVIEW: Discovered by one ‘Abdullah Rihani Bey in 1935, Khirbet et-Tannur is located at the meeting of two rivers: Wadi al’La’aban and Wadi al’Hasa. Khirbet et-Tannur is an isolated Nabataean temple complex active from the 2nd century BCE until the 4th century CE with a special focus on festive deities, from the infamous Fish Goddess to the Vegetation Goddess, both pictured throughout the temple compound. Nelson Glueck, who was advised by ‘Abdullah to excavate the compound, spent a total of seven weeks in 1937, from February to April, digging and collecting data for the archaeological world to witness. Noted by the famous scholar W.F. Albright, Glueck was known to have given the world the “most important contribution … [with] the history of the Nabataeans,” most importantly from this very site. While the records of the excavation consist primarily of diary entries or a small registration book for objections, often time information was written on the small finds themselves. Glueck, we are lucky to have learned, was an avid fanatic of photography, and took massive amounts of footage of extant remains, as well as small finds and newly uncovered architectural components found at Khirbet et-Tannur. The full history of the excavation of Khirbet et-Tannur is expertly compiled by Judith McKenzie, et al. in the recent 67th volume of ASOR (American Schools of Oriental Research). This website incorporates the vast knowledge compiled and gained by both Glueck and McKenzie in a format approachable and readable for both amateur and scholarly academics. Through this website one may find digital reconstructions of the Tannur Temple, finds described by the initial archaeologist, and pertinent information for contextualizing this site in relation to its surroundings, both literally and scholarly. Additional information is found within the two-volume publication chronicling the site and Glueck's excavations, "The Nabataean Temple at Khirbet Et-tannur". []. REVIEW: Khirbet et-Tannur is a hilltop sanctuary on the King’s Highway, near Khirbet edh-Dharih which was the third caravan stop 70 km north of the Nabataean capital Petra. In use from the 2nd century B.C. to the 4/6th century A.D., this temple complex is exceptional because of the information it provides about religious practice due to the astonishing preservation of carbonized cult offerings and vessels. Specialist examination of these revealed continuity of Iron Age religious customs after the Roman conquest of Arabia (in A.D. 106) in a sanctuary of local design, but with architectural decoration and gods in classical form in a fascinating iconographic programme. The site reveals the process of the cessation of religious practice, without conversion, and also provides new information about iconoclasm at Nabataean sites. These results come from the previously unstudied archaeological remains and records of the 1937 excavations by Nelson Glueck (for the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem and the Department of Antiquities of Transjordan), which are preserved in the ASOR Nelson Glueck Archive at the Semitic Museum, Harvard University. Although he was ahead of his time in the types of archaeological samples he collected, this evidence had remained unstudied. Despite the lack of modern stratigraphic methods, these finds provide meaningful results because of the site’s single (religious) function, and its lack of contamination from nearby structures or re-occupation. Such information has not survived in other Nabataean temples in Jordan and southern Syria, largely due to later re-use. Over ten years were spent by an international multidisciplinary team, directed by Judith McKenzie, analysing the finds and records from Glueck’s 1937 excavation and preparing them for publication in two extensively illustrated volumes, which appeared in 2013 (see publications below). The exceptional preservation of the evidence and its significance as a pilgrimage sanctuary make Khirbet et-Tannur of interest to those studying the deities, religious practice, architecture, sculpture, and iconography of the Hellenistic and Roman East. The focus of the project has now moved to the presentation of the site in educational materials, and the online archiving McKenzie’s drawings and photographs. Marlena Whiting (now at the University of Amsterdam) was awarded a Knowledge Exchange Fellowship (by TORCH, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities), held at Manar al-Athar in the Faculty of Classics, October 2014 – April 2015, followed by a CBRL (the Council for British Research in the Levant) Visiting Fellowship. She liaised with the UNESCO office in Amman, the French project at Khirbet edh-Dharih, and the Semitic Museum at Harvard University over plans for tourist development of the site in an attempt to ensure that its presentation and preservation have an academically-informed basis. Whiting has prepared the first version of a video for use in the museums with material from the site. She and Hannah Wellman (University of Oregon) worked on a 48 page booklet presenting the site and its finds to the general public and students, assisted by Andres Reyes (Groton School, MA, and Wolfson College, Oxford), and Judith McKenzie. It was type-set by Groton student Hanna Kim and translated into Arabic by a former Groton student, originally from Aleppo, Diana Sayegh (University of Massachusetts Lowell). The booklet (‘A Gem of a Small Nabataean Temple’: Excavations at Khirbet et-Tannur) provides an accessible summary of the results published in more detail in J. S. McKenzie et al., The Nabataean Temple at Khirbet et-Tannur, Vol. 1 Architecture and Religion; Volume 2 Cultic Offerings, Vessels, and Other Specialist Reports (2013). The English language version of the booklet was published in October 2016. Besides print copies, pdfs of both versions will be made available online. The results are also being used to inform the preparation of the new displays of the sculptures from the site in the Cincinnati Art Museum. Volume I opens with an examination of the intellectual and historical milieu in which Glueck was working (in the pre-war years, during the Arab uprising) provided the background to his methodology. New reconstructions of the temple complex, improving on inconsistencies in those published by Glueck in Deities and Dolphins (1965) establish the spatial settings of the finds and cultic activities. The studies of the lamps, pottery, and glass provide more precise chronological information that has made it possible to date newly identified sub-phases, and so to track the growth and decline of worship at the temple. More evidence was detected for continuity from the Edomites (the Nabataeans’ Iron Age predecessors). In addition, 4th-century use of the site by worshippers, rather than by ‘squatters’ (as previously assumed), was identified, clarifying the process leading to the cessation of worship and the A.D. 363 earthquake, when evidence was trapped. The results were placed in a broader context of Nabataean religious practice and iconography. The design of the temple complex, which is unlike other Nabataean sanctuaries, was found to be most closely related to an Edomite forerunner, Horvat Qitmit, where similar types of offerings also survived. That the main god and goddess at Khirbet et-Tannur were worshipped through cult statues in figured form refutes the commonly held assumption that the Nabataeans, like their Jewish neighbours, had a prohibition against the representation of figures. Furthermore, the Nabataeans’ nuanced understanding of figured sculpture is revealed by their sophisticated combinations of attributes of a variety of deities, and of personifications, including those of the Grain and Fish Goddesses now known to represent signs of the zodiac (Virgo and the personification of Pisces, rather than aspects of the goddess Atargatis), as discovered in the related temple at Khirbet edh-Dharih. These busts complement the well-known zodiac ring from the temple, whose two halves are in the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Jordan Museum, Amman. Glueck assumed that the numerous busts decorating the Khirbet et-Tannur temple represented an eclectic mixture of eastern and western deities. However, this new study has determined the original location of its extensive architectural sculptures, revealing that these formed a cohesive decorative programme, reflecting the sanctuary’s local religious role. It was focussed around a main god and goddess, and the heavenly bodies, which controlled seasonal rains and thus agricultural abundance. Aspects of the Egyptian god Serapis were detected in the cult statue of the god, in addition to Hadad and Zeus, previously identified. The goddess, whose attributes were found to include those of the Egyptian Isis, was apparently the supreme Nabataean goddess Allat (consort of the Nabataean god Dushara), rather than Syrian Atargatis. Reflecting her roles, the goddess was also represented as a unique version of Tyche (the goddess of Good Fortune) and as the goddess of the local spring in the famous Vegetation Goddess panel (featured in the new Jordan Museum in Amman). The iconoclastic damage to the sculptures of Khirbet et-Tannur was examined for the first time. The re-evaluation of the phases made it possible to distinguish those sculptures which were buried in the AD 363 earthquake and those left exposed. Unlike the latter, those buried were not defaced, indicating that such damage was not done by the Nabataeans, but rather after AD 363. Analysis of the similar damage to sculptures at Petra, in the light of excavated evidence, revealed that, contrary to what some scholars had suggested, iconoclastic damage there also was not done under Nabataean rule, but later, in about the 8th century, as in Khirbet Dharih. Volume II contains edited versions of Glueck’s excavation records, including his annotated excavation diary, were prepared for volume 2 of the report, in which they are followed by the specialist reports on the non-architectural finds. S. Whitcher Kansa demonstrated that the animal bones include burnt offerings, such as cattle presented on the main altar, as well as sheep and goat. W. Wetterstrom (Harvard) identified not only species of carbonised grains in proportions indicative of their role as offerings, but also, surprisingly, discovered remains of burnt offering cakes. Examination of the corpus of pottery vessels by S. Schmid (Berlin) revealed that the types present were selected for ritual use and associated banqueting. These meals were accompanied by much drinking, as also evident from the glass beakers identified by M. O’Hea (Adelaide). Analysis of the lamps by D. Barrett . [Oxford University]. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Extremely well documented, lucid prose, a blizzard of fascinating photographs. An exceptionally well-done analysis. Highly recommended for those interested in ancient Jordan, the Nabataean culture, and the fabulous ruins of this bygone culture (including Petra enthusiasts). ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: REVIEW: The Nabataeans were an Arab people who inhabited northern Arabia and the Southern Levant. Their settlements, most prominently the assumed capital city of Raqmu, now called Petra,[1] in CE 37 – c. 100, gave the name of Nabatene to the borderland between Arabia and Syria, from the Euphrates to the Red Sea. Their loosely controlled trading network, which centered on strings of oases that they controlled, where agriculture was intensively practiced in limited areas, and on the routes that linked them, had no securely defined boundaries in the surrounding desert. Trajan conquered the Nabataean kingdom, annexing it to the Roman Empire, where their individual culture, easily identified by their characteristic finely potted painted ceramics, was adopted into the larger Greco-Roman culture. They were later converted to Christianity. Jane Taylor, a writer, describes them as "one of the most gifted peoples of the ancient world". The Nabataeans were one among several nomadic tribes that roamed the Arabian Desert, moving with their herds to wherever they could find pasture and water. These nomads became familiar with their area as seasons passed, and they struggled to survive during bad years when seasonal rainfall diminished. Although the Nabataeans were initially embedded in Aramaic culture, theories about them having Aramean roots are rejected by modern scholars. Instead; historical, religious and linguistic evidence confirm that they are a northern Arabian tribe. The precise origin of this specific tribe of Arab nomads remains uncertain. One hypothesis locates their original homeland in today's Yemen, in the south-west of the Arabian peninsula; however, their deities, language and script share nothing with those of southern Arabia. Another hypothesis argues that they came from the eastern coast of the Peninsula. The suggestion that they came from Hejaz area is considered to be more convincing, as they share many deities with the ancient people there, and "nbtw", the root consonant of the tribe's name, is found in the early Semitic languages of Hejaz. Similarities between late Nabataean Arabic dialect and the ones found in Mesopotamia during the Neo-Assyrian period, and the fact that a group with the name of "Nabatu" is listed by the Assyrians as one of several rebellious Arab tribes in the region, suggests a connection between the two. The Nabataeans might have originated from there and migrated west between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE into northwestern Arabia and much of what is now modern-day Jordan. Nabataeans have been falsely associated with other groups of people. A people called the "Nabaiti" which were defeated by the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal and described to have lived "in a far off desert where there are no wild animals and not even the birds build their nests", were associated by some with the Nabataeans due to the temptation to link their similar names and images. Another misconception is their identification with the Nebaioth of the Hebrew Bible, the descendants of Ishmael, Abraham's son. Unlike the rest of the Arabian tribes, the Nabataeans later emerged as vital players in the region during their times of prosperity. However, they later faded and were forgotten. The brief Babylonian captivity of the Hebrews that began in 586 BCE opened a minor power vacuum in Judah (prior to the Judaeans' return under the Persian King, Cyrus the Great), and as Edomites moved into open Judaean grazing lands, Nabataean inscriptions began to be left in Edomite territory. The first definite appearance was in 312/311 BCE, when they were attacked at Sela or perhaps Petra without success by Antigonus I's officer Athenaeus as part of the Third War of the Diadochi; at that time Hieronymus of Cardia, a Seleucid officer, mentioned the Nabataeans in a battle report. About 50 BCE, the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus cited Hieronymus in his report,[clarification needed] and added the following: "Just as the Seleucids had tried to subdue them, so the Romans made several attempts to get their hands on that lucrative trade." The Nabataeans had already some tincture of foreign culture when they first appear in history. That culture was Aramaic; they wrote a letter to Antigonus in Syriac letters, and Aramaic continued to be the language of their coins and inscriptions when the tribe grew into a kingdom, and profited by the decay of the Seleucids to extend its borders northward over the more fertile country east of the Jordan river. They occupied Hauran, and in about 85 BCE their king Aretas III became lord of Damascus and Coele-Syria. Proper names on their inscriptions suggest that they were ethnically Arabs who had come under Aramaic influence. Starcky identifies the Nabatu of southern Arabia (Pre-Khalan migration) as their ancestors. However different groups amongst the Nabataeans wrote their names in slightly different ways, consequently archaeologists are reluctant to say that they were all the same tribe, or that any one group is the original Nabataeans. Many examples of graffiti and inscriptions—largely of names and greetings—document the area of Nabataean culture, which extended as far north as the north end of the Dead Sea, and testify to widespread literacy; but except for a few letters no Nabataean literature has survived, nor was any noted in antiquity, and the temples bear no inscriptions. Onomastic analysis has suggested[8] that Nabataean culture may have had multiple influences. Classical references to the Nabataeans begin with Diodorus Siculus; they suggest that the Nabataeans' trade routes and the origins of their goods were regarded as trade secrets, and disguised in tales that should have strained outsiders' credulity. Diodorus Siculus (book II) described them as a strong tribe of some 10,000 warriors, pre-eminent among the nomads of Arabia, eschewing agriculture, fixed houses, and the use of wine, but adding to pastoral pursuits a profitable trade with the seaports in frankincense, myrrh and spices from Arabia Felix (today's Yemen), as well as a trade with Egypt in bitumen from the Dead Sea. Their arid country was their best safeguard, for the bottle-shaped cisterns for rain-water which they excavated in the rocky or clay-rich soil were carefully concealed from invaders. The extent of Nabataean trade resulted in cross-cultural influences that reached as far as the Red Sea coast of southern Arabia. The gods worshipped at Petra were notably Dushara and al-‘Uzzá. The Nabataeans used to represent their gods as featureless pillars or blocks. Their most common monuments to the gods, commonly known as "god blocks", involved cutting away the whole top of a hill or cliff face so as to leave only a block behind. However, the Nabataeans became so influenced by other cultures such as those of Greece and Rome that their gods eventually became anthropomorphic and were represented with human features. The language of the Nabataean inscriptions, attested from the 2nd century BCE, shows a local development of the Aramaic language, which had ceased to have super-regional importance after the collapse of the Achaemenid Empire (330 BCE). The Nabataean alphabet itself also developed out of the Aramaic alphabet. The Aramaic language was increasingly affected by the Arabic language, as Arab influence grew in the region over time. From the 4th century, the Arabic influence becomes overwhelming, in a way that it may be said the Nabataean language shifted seamlessly from Aramaic to Arabic. The Arabic alphabet itself developed out of cursive variants of the Nabataean script in the 5th century. Ibn Wahshiyya claimed to have translated from this language in his Nabataean corpus. Although not as dry as at present, the area occupied by the Nabataeans was still a desert and required special techniques for agriculture. One was to contour an area of land into a shallow funnel and to plant a single fruit tree in the middle. Before the 'rainy season', which could easily consist of only one or two rain events, the area around the tree was broken up. When the rain came, all the water that collected in the funnel would flow down toward the fruit tree and sink into the ground. The ground, which was largely loess, would seal up when it got wet and retain the water. In the mid-1950s, a research team headed by Michael Evenari set up a research station near Avdat (Evenari, Shenan and Tadmor 1971). He focused on the relevance of runoff rainwater management in explaining the mechanism of the ancient agricultural features, such as terraced wadis, channels for collecting runoff rainwater, and the enigmatic phenomenon of "Tuleilat el-Anab". Evenari showed that the runoff rainwater collection systems concentrate water from an area that is five times larger than the area in which the water actually drains. Another study was conducted by Y. Kedar[who?] in 1957, which also focused on the mechanism[vague] of the agriculture systems, but he studied soil management, and claimed that the ancient agriculture systems were intended to increase the accumulation of loess in wadis and create an infrastructure for agricultural activity. This theory has also been explored by E. Mazor,[who?] of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Petra was rapidly built in the 1st century BCE, and developed a population estimated at 20,000. The Nabataeans were allies of the first Hasmoneans in their struggles against the Seleucid monarchs. They then became rivals of the Judaean dynasty, and a chief element in the disorders that invited Pompey's intervention in Judea. Many Nabataeans were forcefully converted to Judaism by the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus. It was this king who, after putting down a local rebellion, invaded and occupied the Nabataean towns of Moab and Gilead and imposed a tribute of an unknown amount. Obodas I knew that Alexander would attack, so was able to ambush Alexander's forces near Gaulane destroying the Judean army (90 BC). The Roman military was not very successful in their campaigns against the Nabataeans. In 62 BCE, Marcus Aemilius Scaurus accepted a bribe of 300 talents to lift the siege of Petra, partly because of the difficult terrain and the fact that he had run out of supplies. Hyrcanus II, who was a friend of Aretas, was despatched by Scaurus to the King to buy peace. In so obtaining peace, King Aretas retained all his possessions, including Damascus, and became a Roman vassal. In 32 BCE, during King Malichus II's reign, Herod the Great started a war against Nabataea, with the support of Cleopatra. The war began with Herod's army plundering Nabataea with a large cavalry force and occupying Dium. After this defeat, the Nabataean forces amassed near Canatha in Syria, but were attacked and routed. Athenion (Cleopatra's General) sent Canathans to the aid of the Nabataeans, and this force crushed Herod's army, which then fled to Ormiza. One year later, Herod's army overran Nabataea. After an earthquake in Judaea, the Nabateans rebelled and invaded Israel, but Herod at once crossed the Jordan river to Philadelphia (modern Amman) and both sides set up camp. The Nabataeans under Elthemus refused to give battle, so Herod forced the issue when he attacked their camp. A confused mass of Nabataeans gave battle but were defeated. Once they had retreated to their defences, Herod laid siege to the camp and over time some of the defenders surrendered. The remaining Nabataean forces offered 500 talents for peace, but this was rejected. Lacking water, the Nabataeans were forced out of their camp for battle, but were defeated in this last battle. An ally of the Roman Empire, the Nabataean kingdom flourished throughout the 1st century. Its power extended far into Arabia along the Red Sea to Yemen, and Petra was a cosmopolitan marketplace, though its commerce was diminished by the rise of the Eastern trade-route from Myos Hormos to Coptos on the Nile. Under the Pax Romana, the Nabataeans lost their warlike and nomadic habits and became a sober, acquisitive, orderly people, wholly intent on trade and agriculture. The kingdom was a bulwark between Rome and the wild hordes of the desert except in the time of Trajan, who reduced Petra and converted the Nabataean client state into the Roman province of Arabia Petraea. By the 3rd century, the Nabataeans had stopped writing in Aramaic and begun writing in Greek instead, and by the 5th century they had converted to Christianity. The new Arab invaders, who soon pressed forward into their seats, found the remnants of the Nabataeans transformed into peasants. Their lands were divided between the new Qahtanite Arab tribal kingdoms of the Byzantine vassals, the Ghassanid Arabs, and the Himyarite vassals, the Kindah Arab Kingdom in North Arabia. The city of Petra was brought to the attention of Westerners by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812. [Wikipedia]. REVIEW: Located about 70 kilometers north of Petra, Khirbet et-Tannur is one of the best-preserved and most intact examples of a Nabataean open-air sanctuary. The hilltop complex began as a simple altar surrounded by open space, but was expanded in two major phases of construction during which a temple, colonnades, and additional rooms were added. An elaborate sculptural program at the site included a series of reliefs related to the zodiac and ancient deities. There was no village at Khirbet et-Tannur—it served only as a pilgrimage site, with visitors climbing a steep path up the hill to reach the sanctuary. Khirbet et-Tannur was excavated in 1937 by the Jordanian Department of Antiquities and the American Schools of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. Since then, scavenging and looting have damaged the site, and it continues to be vulnerable. It is hoped that Watch listing will draw attention to the site, which is important in the understanding of religious practices of the ancient Near East. [World Monuments Fund]. REVIEW: Petra was the Nabataean capital of commerce, but there were many other permanent settlements in fertile areas and along the caravan routes. Each town had its own temples and altars dedicated to one or more Nabataean deities. The layout and architectural style and the personality of the god or goddess worshipped within usually reflected influences and traditions from the region. Khirbet et-Tannur was an isolated high place of worship situated off the beaten path. This sanctuary stood on the summit of Jebel Tannur, a 1,000-foot-high (300-meter-high) ridge located roughly 45 miles (70 kilometers) north of Petra. Its remote setting--far removed from a water source--hints that Tannur was a likely pilgrimage site. It was also an ideal spot to observe the relationship between the constellations and planets. [American Museum of Natural History]. REVIEW: Online resources for the study of the ancient world are increasingly available in recent years. Interactive websites are creating environments conducive for learning in a supplementary way to publications. This is accomplished though online collections, mapping, and 3D modeling. By creating these resources for as many archaeological sites as possible, we are giving history a new life and a wider spread of influence in modern life. The Nabatean people were lost in the sands of the desert for centuries only to recently be lost in the pages of books. This fascinating and important culture existed in the ancient Near East, stretching from Arabia, across Jordan, and into the Negev and the Sinai. They were skillful merchants and vital to the spice trade. They are best known for their architecture; specifically the cliff side carved building of Petra. Another site was excavated in the 1930’s by Nelson Glueck that is essential to the study of Nabatean religion, which has long been ignored: Khirbet et-Tannur. Khirbet et-Tannur is a Nabatean temple located in Wadi Hasa built on the summit of the 300m high Jebel Tannur 70km north of Petra. Construction of the temple started in the 2nd-3rd century BCE and continued through three phases till the 1st century CE. The temple was highly decorated and contained statues and reliefs of many deities, such as Zeus Hadad, Atargatis, and fish and grain goddesses. Without any remains of settlement, Khirbet et-Tannur was most likely a sanctuary for pilgrimages. Due to its remote area the site has remained untouched for many years. Renewed interest in the Nabatean culture and Khirbet et-Tannur has led to the recent release of two ASOR volumes on the site. The volumes detail Glueck’s excavation and propose new conclusions while giving readers an in-depth introduction to the site and the Nabatean culture of the region. While these volumes are impressive, I wanted to create something for a wider audience. Arising from a class project, the website for Khirbet et-Tannur was created Andrew Deloucas (now of Leiden University) and myself. The website combines an online collection of artifacts with ArcGIS mapping and Sketchup 3D models (both of which are available for download on the site) to create a resource for understanding this important site in the ancient world. So, take a look through the site []. REVIEW: Few places on earth have captivated humanity as much as the ethereal city of Petra, which is located in present-day Jordan. Constructed by the Nabataeans–ancient traders who dominated the export of frankincense, myrrh, balsam, and spices from Arabia to the Greco-Roman world–Petra was a beautiful desert metropolis of theaters, temples, palaces, and immense markets. ‘Rediscovered’ in 1812 by an eccentric Swiss adventurer, Johan Ludwig Burckhardt, Petra is the focus of a new show at the Antikenmuseum Basel in Basel, Switzerland. Opened last fall by HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan of Jordan, Petra: Wonder in the Desert. In the Footsteps of J. L. Burckhardt alias “Sheikh Ibrahim,” showcases nearly 150 artifacts, demonstrating the power, prestige, and sophistication of one of Antiquity’s most alluring cities. In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia converses with Mr. Laurent Gorgerat, a Co-Curator of the exhibition, and learns how a mysterious kingdom of former nomads created a luxurious, urban oasis in an inhospitable climate. Mr. Laurent Gorgerat, welcome to the Ancient History Encyclopedia and thank you for speaking to us about the Antikenmuseum Basel’s latest exhibition, "Petra: Splendor in the Desert", which has been extended through May 20, 2013. For those of us who are not familiar with Basel’s links to Petra, could you share with us why this exhibition was planned and organized by the Antikenmuseum Basel? LG: Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to speak about Petra: Wonder of the Desert in Basel, Switzerland. In fact, there are many strong and interesting links between Basel and Petra. Foremost, there is a historic connection due to the fact that this remarkable city–located deep within the Jordanian desert–was rediscovered in 1812 by a Swiss Explorer, Johan Ludwig Burckhardt (1784-1817), who came from an old and very distinguished Basel family. The second link is a scientific one as archaeologists from Basel University have been involved in the archaeological exploration of Petra for many years; from 1988 until 2002, the University of Basel excavated many Nabataean houses in Petra. Today, many of these archaeologists are still involved in archaeological projects in and around Petra. Our exhibition thus commemorates the bicentenary of the rediscovery of Petra by Burckhardt, while showcasing the results of the most recent archaeological projects in Petra. The planning and organization of an exhibition of this size took us about three years to complete, from the first visit to several Museums in Jordan until the opening in the fall 2012. This exhibition could never have been realized without the constant support from the authorities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for which we are deeply grateful! JW: Petra was a sprawling desert metropolis at the beginning of the first millennium CE. Once the capital of the Nabataeans–Arabian middlemen in the caravan trade of luxury goods–Petra is most famous for its architecture, especially its façades, which were cut directly into red sandstone. Among the 150 artifacts presented within the exhibition, which in your opinion are the highlights? What do they reveal about this city and the culture of the people who called Petra home? LG: Well, this is quite a difficult question: every object is unique and shows a particular facet of the Nabataeans and how the Nabataeans created their own material culture in a short period of time. From their sedentarization somewhere in the second century BCE, to their apogee in the first century BCE through the first century CE, they were able to create a distinctive material culture in various fields: architecture, sculpture, pottery, metal works, numismatics, etc. As a result of their economic exchanges with the different cultures of the Hellenistic Near East, they were inspired by varied styles and forms. Not surprisingly, you can find various traditions in Nabataean art. For example, several of the “eye-idols” or “eye-steles” shown in the exhibition testify to Arabian influence, while the numerous architectural reliefs from the city center of Petra reveal a marked influence from Greco-Roman art. This is, in my opinion, the most spectacular fact concerning the Nabataeans: they were able to combine several artistic influences in the creation of their own art. JW: How were the Nabataeans able to build and manage such a large city in the middle of the desert? How did they irrigate their crops and allocate natural resources? LG: Without the incense trade from southern Arabia, Petra would never have risen. Trade of incense enabled a flourishing urban and material culture. The Nabataeans had the financial resources to create a city in the middle of nowhere thanks to their enormous earnings. We do not know the exact reasons that led the Nabataeans to build the city where it is–this is still a matter of conjecture and debate among scholars. Originally, it was a place that was periodically inhabited by them when they were still nomads. Once they became sedentary, the Nabataeans chose this place to build their capital. This choice necessitated a tremendous amount of work in matters of infrastructure; first of all, they had to solve severe water problems. On the one hand you have–according to the topographical situation of the city–the imminent danger of flash floods with the possibility of total destruction. To resolve this problem, the Nabataeans created a very sophisticated system of dams, tunnels, and channels. On the other hand, they also had to contend with the fact that there is no spring in the immediate vicinity of Petra. However, there are springs located a few kilometers (several miles) outside of the zone of habitation. With their engineering skills and creativity, the Nabataeans built an ingenious system of aqueducts, channels, water pipes, and cisterns to supply the city with fresh water during the whole year. JW: Petra was rediscovered in 1812 by a native son of Basel: Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. An explorer and orientalist, Burckhardt traveled across Syria, Egypt, Arabia, the Holy Land, and Nubia. How does this exhibition capture the passion and personality of such an intrepid adventurer? What insights can your share about his life and his reaction to having rediscovered one of the ancient world’s most celebrated cities? LG: The fact that the Burckhardt family still lives in Basel proved very helpful in illustrating the short but tumultuous life of Johan Ludwig Burckhardt. The Burckhardts, in tandem with the Basel History Museum, provided us with many personal objects, books, and letters. The most fascinating aspect of Burckhardt is, in my point of view, the interest he had in the culture and people of the Near East at a time in which traveling in such parts of the world was not typical (especially not when you were born into an aristocratic family). Mention should also be made of the fact that Burckhardt did not travel to the Near East to discover ancient cities. This was not his first goal; in truth, his initial mission was to travel to Central Africa to explore the unknown parts of the “dark continent” on behalf of the British African Association. He has very well prepared while traveling, and he even learned Arabic during his three years in Syria. During his journey from Aleppo to Cairo–from where he should have taken a caravan to Timbuktu–he rediscovered Petra. Due to his profound knowledge of ancient Greek and Latin authors, he was able to identify the ruins he visited as Petra, the ancient capital of the Nabataean kingdom. Unfortunately, he never reached his final destination, Mali, as he died tragically of dysentery in Cairo, Egypt. JW: Mr. Gorgerat, in your estimation, why has Petra continued to intrigue and bedazzle us in the 200 years since its rediscovery? Moreover, what is Petra’s legacy in a modern, globalized world? LG: I think that the fascination with Petra today lies in a combination of its spectacular landscape–with its rocky, desert terrain–and its extraordinarily beautiful ruins. The fact that an originally nomadic society could establish a city in the middle of a desert, resolving all the major problems of infrastructure and creating an outstanding material culture, should arouse our respect and contemplation. JW: Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and opinions with our international audience. We so appreciate your time and consideration, Mr. Gorgerat. We hope to hear from you again with regard to the Antikenmuseum Basel’s next exhibition, How to be a Man: The Strong Sex in Antiquity, opening this fall. LG: Once again, thank you very much for the opportunity to talk about Petra and our exhibition, James, and I wish all the best to the Ancient History Encyclopedia! [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. REVIEW: Known the world over for their hauntingly beautiful cities of Petra and Mada’in Saleh and engineering acumen, the Nabataeans of ancient Arabia were the middlemen in the long distance trade between the ancient Mediterranean and South Arabia. Mysterious and beguiling, their legacy endures across time and space in the Arabic script and in the sophistication of their cities, carved out of the harsh desert landscape. In this exclusive interview, Dr. Laïla Nehmé, a senior research scientist at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris, speaks to James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) about the creative genius of the Nabataeans. JW: What do we know about the origins of the Nabataeans, Dr. Nehmé? Written records from the Nabataean kingdom are limited, and there are only a few surviving documents in addition to scattered inscriptions and graffiti about them in Aramaic. LN: There have been various attempts, in the past, to determine where the Nabataeans originally come from, and it has been suggested that their homeland was southern Arabia. There, they would have acquired skills in hydraulics. They could have also originated in eastern Arabia, where parallels for the earliest Nabataean monumental tombs have been identified, or possibly northern Arabia, where they would have led a nomadic lifestyle before settling in Petra in the fourth or third century BCE. It is, however, not necessarily useful to think in terms of “origin,” as the Nabataeans are better thought of as an “Arab” people who lived for several centuries at the confluence and on the margins of various kingdoms and empires — the Seleucids, Ptolemies, Romans, and Hasmoneans. They borrowed customs, aesthetics, and technology from them. Nonetheless, they added their own concepts and ideas, producing a unique cultural syncretism. They were “Arabs” because most of their names are of Arabian origin and because they probably spoke an early form of Arabic, even if they wrote in Aramaic letters. There are very few records that come from the Nabataeans themselves: A few papyri, which are mainly private contracts, and thousands of graffiti scattered on the rocks, 90% of which contain only the name of the individual who wrote it, his father’s name, and a formulaic greeting. Fortunately, ancient authors like Diodorus of Sicily (fl. 50 BCE), Strabo (64 or 63 BCE-c. 24 CE), Flavius Josephus (c. 37-100 CE) and others, describe the manners and customs of the Nabataeans. These sources allow us to immerse ourselves in their daily life and religion, or in the political and military events that punctuated their history. JW: The Nabataeans became wealthy from the “Incense Trade.” Do we know how they came to dominate this trade route with the kingdoms of South Arabia? Would it be fair to say that the trade of myrrh and frankincense was their “lifeblood”? LN: It is true that the Nabataeans became wealthy because they were involved — and we know they were from the end of the fourth century BCE onward — in the long-distance trade of incense and aromatics, which they conveyed from at least central and northern Arabia to the Mediterranean harbors through the caravan routes and stations they controlled. They were certainly skilled cameleers, and they knew how to travel across arid lands because they were familiar with the watering places. They were therefore able to play a substantial part in the lucrative trade of these products, which the Mediterranean world was so eager to import. Of course, this wealth came also from the taxes on the goods, which were paid to them in the various caravan stations. In this context, trade was certainly their ‘lifeblood’, but they pursued many other activities, including agriculture, pastoralism, and viticulture. This is the case around Petra — where many Nabataean grape presses were found — and in the Arabian oases. In Mada’in Saleh (ancient Hegra), located in present-day Saudi Arabia, for instance, one finds that irrigated agriculture was undertaken: Palm trees, cereals, legumes, and fruit trees were grown. Cotton, a plant which requires significant water, was also cultivated in Mada’in Saleh. The Nabataeans were familiar with weaving, pottery manufacturing, and metalwork as well. JW: One cannot deny that the Nabataeans were also skilled engineers; they built beautiful cities — like their capital Petra and the metropolis Mada’in Saleh — which are filled with rock-cut monumental tombs, wide avenues, impressive theaters, and elaborately ornamented façades. In the middle of the Negev Desert, the Nabataeans developed a complex system of water collection that provided them with ample water year round. How were the Nabataeans able to accomplish such feats given the rugged terrain and lack of natural resources in the region? LN: It should be noted that Nabataean cities and settlements existed in what is present-day Jordan, Syria, Israel, Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, and Saudi Arabia. The Nabataeans had many skills in building, hydraulics, and agriculture, which they must have acquired through a process we unfortunately know nothing about. It seems to me that the two keywords which explain best their achievements are “adaptation” and “opportunism.” The first because they were able to adapt to diverse environments and apply to each the appropriate technical solution; the second, because although most of these environments were difficult — they were tough or lacked water resources — they made the most of it. The Nabataeans exploited and made good use of all available resources. I will give two examples; in order to collect water, the Nabataeans resorted to two very different strategies in Petra and in Mada’in Saleh. In Petra, they brought the water down from the springs, which still flow a few kilometers east of the city center, through a sophisticated system of canals. Additionally, at a more local level, in the various districts around the city center, they dug a series of interconnected small canals and settling basins, each of which lead to one of the 200 Nabataean cisterns identified so far in Petra. This provided each family or group of families with enough water for their daily use. In Mada’in Saleh, which lies in an alluvial plain where the water table was only a few meters below the ground in ancient times, there is no such thing. The Nabataeans had no choice but to exploit this water table, which they did by successfully digging 130 wells, at more or less regular intervals, thus turning their surroundings into a luxuriant oasis. The other example of ingenuity that comes to everyone’s mind is the Nabataeans’ ability to take advantage of the rocky landscape in the places where they settled: Petra, Mada’in Saleh, and Al-Bad‘ (in present-day Saudi Arabia). Rock cut monuments were not only the best solution to build tombs and other monuments in these natural settings, but they were also the most efficient way to obtain building material since every tomb site was treated as a quarry before the surface of the rock was more finely carved and decorated. JW: How do Nabataean burial practices and funerary architecture differ from those of their neighbors in the Arabian Peninsula and Near East? What makes them so distinct and of great interest and importance to archaeologists? LN: Excellent question, James. One should first make a distinction between funerary architecture and burial practices. The former is indeed very specific to the Nabataeans, particularly with regard to the rock cut architecture. A rock cut tomb with a motif of crow steps at its top, an Egyptian gorge below it, a pilaster on each side of the façade, and a triangular pediment sitting on top of the door cannot be anything but “Nabataean.” Therefore, the discovery of such a tomb at a site somewhere between Damascus and Khaybar, in the Hejaz, is a decisive argument for Nabataean occupation; i.e., it is a “diagnostic” feature, as is also Nabataean fine ware painted pottery. As for the burial practices, on which our excavations in Mada’in Saleh have recently shed light in an unprecedented way, they do not differ fundamentally from that of their neighbors, at least not in general terms. The Nabataeans like their neighbors used shrouds and wooden coffins, ointments, and made funerary deposits. What makes them of great interest to archaeologists is the detail with which one can reproduce the burial process. This is true especially in Mada’in Saleh: The deceased was undressed and anointed — probably at home — with a mixture of vegetable resins and fatty acids. They were then wrapped into three layers of textiles of decreasing fineness — two of linen and one of animal hair — separated by the same mixture and maintained together with straps. Thus arranged, the body was finally put in a leather wrapper and carried from the house to the tomb by means of a leather transportation shroud equipped with handles. This is all very new, and it adds a lot to the information already available. JW: The decline of the Nabataeans is a topic that archaeologists and historians continue to debate. What do you believe the archaeological record shows? Their civilization seemed to flourish independently and then as a Roman client-state until about the third century CE. LN: The Nabataean kingdom flourished for about two hundred years as an independent kingdom, which did not prevent it from becoming a client state of Rome during the second half of the first century BCE. Alliances, important decisions, and territorial expansion were certainly undertaken with Rome’s implicit consent. However, the kingdom was nevertheless independent and managed its internal affairs in the manner it had always done with a king at its head, an administration which issued Nabataean currency, and provincial governors installed across the provinces. In 106 CE, this “political” independence was lost because the whole of the Nabataean territory was annexed by the Roman emperor Trajan (r. 98-117 CE) in order to form a new Roman province — adequately called the “Province of Arabia.” It should be known, however, that the Nabataeans did not suddenly and altogether disappear. Most of them must have remained in the cities where they lived, went on using the Nabataean alphabet until the mid-fourth century CE, and continued to give typical Nabataean names to their children. (Names, particularly those derived from the names of their kings and gods such as “Obodas,” remained popular.) They additionally maintained their pottery tradition until the sixth century CE as is evidenced by the pottery kilns located around Petra. Although archaeology and epigraphy tell us that the Nabataean kingdom disappeared as a political entity, aspects of the Nabataean culture endured for several centuries. That being acknowledged, archaeology also tells unexpected things: The excavation of several triclinia — banqueting halls — in Mada’in Saleh. showed that these structures stopped being used as meeting places for Nabataean fraternal societies soon after the Roman take over. The Romans did not see with a favorable eye meeting places where political discussions were certainly flying around! JW: What is the greatest legacy of the Nabataeans in your estimation, Dr. Nehmé? How should we best remember them and their various achievements? LN: Asking this question to a person who is both an archaeologist and an epigraphist leads indubitably to two answers. The first is of course their monumental rock cut tombs, and one will certainly not need Indiana Jones’ Last Crusade final scene to remember the Khazneh in Petra, and all the smaller monuments they cut into the rocks. All we can hope for is that they do not suffer too much from environmental and human depredations in the future. The second is probably more surprising for a non-academic public, and that is the Arabic script. At the time when Arabic started to be written by people who spoke Arabic and used Arabic in their written documents (in the administration and chancelleries), Nabataean was the only script of prestige, which survived in the area where this happened: northwest Arabia. The script was indigenous, more or less adequate, and not used exclusively by the nomads. The most important legacy of the Nabataeans, although they were not aware of it, is therefore the Arabic script, which now used by millions of people around the world. JW: Dr. Nehmé, thank you for sharing your thoughts about this most interesting ancient culture. We look forward to following your research and activities! LN: You are very welcome, James! Hopefully in the near future, I shall be continuing to run with my European and Saudi colleagues the excavations at Mada’in Saleh, mainly the ones we have started in the residential area, including a Roman fortified camp, a Nabataean sanctuary, a monumental gate along a rampart, and a large residential unit. I would also like to continue the publication of the material I have collected, which sheds light on the development of the Nabataean script into Arabic: The inscriptions themselves, the analysis of the script, of the orthography, of the personal names they contain, and their distribution. Finding who is responsible for the development of the Arabic script is a fascinating challenge. Finally, considering that since I started archaeology, 30 years ago, I moved south from Syria to Jordan and from there to Saudi Arabia, I would happily extend my investigation area to Egypt, where the Nabataeans were present — east of the Nile and in the Sinai peninsula — and, in the short-term, to the region immediately south of Mada’in Saleh, where the Nabataeans were very active in ancient times. All of this means setting up new projects, which is a long and time consuming part of our job as researchers. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site) and free insurance coverage. A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $9.99 to $37.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). However this book is quite heavy, and it is too large to fit into a flat rate mailer. Therefore the shipping costs are somewhat higher than what is otherwise ordinary. There is a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Publisher American Schools of Oriental (2013) Provenance Ancient Nabatea Petra Jordan Format Hardcover with printed covers (no dustjacket, as p Material Paper Length 329 pages Size 11 x 8½ x 1 inch; 3+ pounds Publisher: American Schools of Oriental (2013), Provenance: Ancient Nabatea Petra Jordan, Format: Hardcover with printed covers (no dustjacket, as p, Material: Paper, Length: 329 pages, Size: 11 x 8½ x 1 inch; 3+ pounds

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