The Nabatean History

Nabateans were ancient people and nomadic tribes from Arabia and they used to travel across the deserts of Arabia for trade. Began migrating gradually from Arabia during the sixth century BCE.

They abandoned their nomadic ways and settled in a number of places in southern Jordan, the Naqab desert in Palestine, and in northern Arabia, their capital city was Petra.

Nabatean History
The Time

The Nabateans started their Kingdome in the 9th century B.C. in the area of Medain Saleh Northeastern Arabia.


The Seventh century (C.B.C 647),

The earliest known reference to the Nabateans as a people is in the Seventh century B.C. (647 B.C.), they were mentioned in a list of enemies of Ashurbanipal the last great Assyrian king,


Byzantine Period,

When Christianity arrived in the 4th century, Petra retained its urban vitality into late antiquity, when it was the seat of a Byzantine bishopric.

Various tombs and temples at Petra were used as churches, they recycled many standing structures and rock-cut monuments, while also constructing their own buildings, including churches, especially in the sixth century.

An example of monuments they reused is the great tomb or the Ad-Dayr (known also as 'The Monastery'), which was modified into a church.

The Sixth century B.C.

During this time, Nabateans began migrating gradually from Medain Saleh to southern Jordan and settled in Petra as their capital and established the first democratic monarchy in the region, and had became rich and powerful

The Nabatean Kingdome

Fourth century B.C.

The Nabataeans controlled the spice trade from Arabia to Mesopotamia (Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran). While the Polemist and the Seleucids were fighting for control of Jordan, Nabatea remained essentially untouched and independent throughout this period

Before the Nabateans

Many Remains been discovered from Both the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods, at Petra, in about 1200 bce, before the Nabateans, the area known as Edom ("red")

Edomites occupied the area, controlling the trade routes from Arabia to Damascus.


312 - 311 B.C.

Is the time when first definite appearance for the Nabateans Kingdome, 312 BC, when they were unsuccessfully attacked in Petra by the Seleucid king Demetrius I Poliorcetes, when he sent one of Alexander the Great's generals, attacked Petra without success.

During the reign of King Aretas III (86–62 B.C.), the Nabataean kingdom extended its territory northward and briefly occupied Damascus they built a chain of settlements along the caravan routes
Romans arrived in Damascus and ordered the Nabateans to withdraw their forces, Pompey invaded Petra, and The Nabatean King Aretas III either defeated the Roman legions or paid a tribute to keep peace with them
63 B.C.

They were invaded twice by the Romans, but they continued to prosper and building a chain of settlements along the caravan routes to develop their trade. The last Nabatean monarch, Rabbel II, made peace with the Romans that lasted for his lifetime


106 C.E.

The last Nabatean monarch, Rabbel II, made peace with the Romans that lasted for his lifetime, Upon Rabbel's death in 106 CE, the Romans claimed the Nabatean Kingdom and renamed it Arabia Petrea, 70 C.E. Nabatea would fall under direct Roman rule, and the final period of Nabataean history was one of peaceful prosperity as allies of Rome


70 C.E.

Nabatea would fall under direct Roman rule, and the final period of Nabataean history was one of peaceful prosperity as allies of Rome


Fourth century C.E.

Finally, with the shift of trade routes to Palmyra in Syria and the expansion of seaborne trade around the Arabia, commerce became less profitable to them; they left their capital at Petra with organized withdrawal process. No one really knows why.

The Nabatean Culture

A royal family governed the community, with the spirit of democracy and there were no slaves in their society. They spoke a dialect of Arabic and later Aramaic was the language used at their coins and inscriptions when they first start their kingdom, and they worshipped Dushara and Al-Uzza

With the extent of the trade with others; this resulted in cross-cultural influences, the Hellenistic culture of their neighbors influenced them greatly. Hellenistic influences are most, the Nabatean art and architecture, Tombs and building style incorporates Assyrian, Egyptian Babylonian, and Roman characteristics
Among the Nabataean great achievements is the sophisticated hydraulic engineering systems including efficient water storage techniques, including water conservation systems and dams constructed to divert winter waters that create flash floods
Also brought water in channels and pipes from springs of Ain Musa near Petra, which is located in present day at Wadi Musa. Also with hidden underground cisterns strategically located along their trade routes especially at desert

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