KINGDOM OF NABATEA: THE Nabatean Kingdom was a powerful…


THE Nabatean Kingdom was a powerful political entity which flourished in the region of modern-day Jordan between the 4th century BCE and c. 106 CE and is best known today for the ruins of its capital city of Petra. Although it is clear that a wealthy community was thriving in the immediate vicinity of Petra by 312 BCE (attested to by the Greek expedition mounted against it), scholars usually date the Nabatean Kingdom from 168 BCE, the date of their first known king, to 106 CE when it was annexed by the Roman Empire under Trajan (98-117 CE).

Nabateans were Arabian nomads from the Negev Desert who amassed their wealth first as traders on the Incense Routes which wound from Qataban (in modern-day Yemen) through neighboring Saba (a powerful trade hub) and on toward Gaza on the Mediterranean Sea. Their constant travel on these routes intimately familiarized them with the area and their skill in finding, and preserving, sources of water enabled them to transport goods more quickly and efficiently than others.

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