The Nabataeans: A Brief History of Petra and Madain Saleh


The Nabataeans were ancient peoples of Arabia, whose civilization was headquartered at Petra, ‘the rose red city half as old as time’. Their loosely controlled trading network covered the borderland between Syria and Arabia, from the Euphrates to the Red Sea…

USA Orders

Category: .

The Nabataeans were ancient peo­ples of Ara­bia, whose civ­i­liza­tion was head­quar­tered at Petra, ‘the rose red city half as old as time’. Their loosely con­trolled trad­ing net­work cov­ered the bor­der­land between Syria and Ara­bia, from the Euphrates to the Red Sea. Incred­i­bly wealthy from trade, they were sig­nif­i­cant regional play­ers. Herod Antipas, for exam­ple, was mar­ried to a Nabataean princess. The Roman emperor Tra­jan annexed the Nabataean king­dom in the begin­ning of the 2nd cen­tury AD. Their dis­tinct cul­ture, eas­ily iden­ti­fied by their char­ac­ter­is­tic finely-potted painted ceram­ics, became dis­persed in the gen­eral Greco-Roman cul­ture and was even­tu­ally lost.

“The book is not intended as a sub­sti­tute for any of the com­mer­cially avail­able guide­books on Petra. Instead it is meant to help the reader under­stand the whys, where­fores and whens of these fas­ci­nat­ing peo­ple,” explains the author.

“What I wanted was a book that would relate Petra and Madain Saleh to the Nabataeans’ story in terms of present day schol­ar­ship. The prob­lem with Nabataean his­tory is that they left no records of their own and a lot of schol­arly research is sim­ply well informed edu­cated guess work that has had to be revised sev­eral times.”

This new title will be pub­lished on the 200th anniver­sary of the first Euro­pean to describe the his­toric Nabataean site of Petra by the Swiss trav­eller Johann Lud­wig Burckhardt.What makes this book unique is that it will pro­vide a pop­u­lar and acces­si­ble account of the two major Nabataean sites: Petra in the Hashemite King­dom of Jor­dan as well as its impor­tant sis­ter city of Madain Saleh in the King­dom of Saudi Ara­bia. Both are UNESCO World Her­itage sites, and the author knows them intimately.

This book will pro­vide vis­i­tors to both the Saudi Ara­bian and Jor­dan­ian sites more sub­stance than found in a guide­book of list­ings and pic­tures. It should also appeal to stu­dents and any­one with an inter­est in one of the last great puz­zles of history.

170 x 240 mm Por­trait
224 pp soft­bound

About the Author