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Nabataean City of Avdat in Israel


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The ancient Nabataean city of Avdat (Oboda), which is located in present-day Israel, was initially a station on the 'Incense Route' in the Negev highlands. It was built by the Nabateans starting in the 3rd century BCE. During the Roman period, the city was part of the defense and transportation systems of the empire, and it flourished during the Byzantine period with the construction of churches, workshops, and a vast agricultural system of connected farms. The city was finally abandoned in the 7th century CE following an earthquake. It is today a National Park and UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Nabataean City of Avdat in Israel - History

Nabateans: Who were they and what made them great?

History

For over four hundred years the Nabataeans were the principle merchants of the Middle East. From their capital city of Petra they influenced the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians, connecting them with trade to the far flung parts of the world.

Culture and Religion

What made the Nabataean culture special? Discover their religious, political and cultural worldview.

Travel and Trade

Discover the exotic places the Nabataeans traded with, and the variety of products that they offered to those wealthy enough to purchase.

Navigation and Sailing

The Nabataeans were at home in the deserts with their camel caravans, but they also developed their sailing skills and traded with far off countries and empires.

Petra

The ancient Nabataean city of Petra holds many secrets. Historians are just beginning to uncover the story behind this amazing city. Today thousands of tourists visit this site and stare in awe at the huge funerary monuments. While there are over 1000 monuments in Petra, most people are unaware of the amazing people who built this city, hidden in a valley in Southern Jordan.

Medain Saleh

This Nabataean city is located in Saudi Arabia, approximately 320 kilometers south of Petra. This Nabataean city has 131 tombs spread out over 13.4 kilometers. The city proper as a siq, walls, towers, water conduits, and cisterns.

Other Cities and Sites

This is the master list of historical sites which are covered on this website. (Not including Petra and Meda&rsquoin Saleh which have their own sections.) Each of the places listed here are found throughout this website site, such as lists of stopping places on trade routes, or mosques built during early Islam.

Biblical Studies

This section of Nabataea.net focuses on Biblical studies from the first lines of Genesis, to the occupation of the Middle East by the forces of the Roman Empire.

Roman Arabia

Even though the land of Nabataean lay at the farthest end of the Roman Empire, it&rsquos hills and plains contain diverse evidence left behind by this great civilization.

Founding of Islam

Over the last 20 years, new discoveries are pointing to the founding of Islam taking place in the ancient city of Petra. Check the evidence for yourself and make your own decision.

Ottoman Arabia

The Middle East lay in the grips of the Ottoman Empire for over a thousand years. As with previous empires, the Ottomans left their unique mark on Nabataea.


Jaffa

Jaffa, also known as Joppa or Jopha, is the oldest port city in the world. We believe this to be enough reason for you to put it on your travel map. The city is associated with the biblical story of Jonah, who sailed from Jaffa before he was thrown into the sea. Taking into consideration how old the city is, it comes as no surprise that there are also some stories about Solomon and Saint Peter, as well as some mythological ones about Perseus and Andromeda.

When it comes to popular places, there are numerous landmarks such as The Clock Square that was built in 1906 or the governor’s place called The Saraya, constructed in the 1890s. In addition, there are multiple orthodox churches, roman-catholic basilicas, and mosques that were all built on the remains of historical sites.

Furthermore, you cannot miss the market that is located in the center of the town. Here, you can buy anything, from secondhand clothes to antiques and also small gifts. Take a stroll, observe your surroundings, and get familiar with the locals and their everyday life.


The 10 most iconic archeological sites in Israel

Sitting at the crossroads of the ancient world, Israel is an archeologist’s dream. Peeling back the layers of history here is a never-ending pursuit.

Excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority with local and international experts are constantly turning up new clues to ancient civilizations.

And it’s quite common for casual hikers to contact the IAA about valuable antiquities they’ve stumbled across. Click here and here to read about kids finding rare artifacts.

Israel has invested heavily in enabling safe access to dozens of archeology sites for the public. Many of them have been turned into national parks and UNESCO Heritage Sites.

Ten of the most iconic Israeli archeological sites are described below. In a future article, we’ll look at 10 lesser-known sites where impressive discoveries have been made.

Archeological digs and conservation projects reveal the history of this capital city established by King David more than 3,000 years ago.

The most visited place in Israel, Jerusalem has been continuously inhabited for some 5,000 years. So it’s not surprising that hardly a month goes by without major archeological news here.

Although important discoveries are also made outside the Old City – for instance, underneath the Jerusalem International Convention Center — the most famed archeological heritage sites are in the Old City area and shed light on life during the First Temple period (1000-586 BCE), Second Temple period (516 BCE to 70 CE), Byzantine Muslim period (4 th to 11 th centuries CE) and Crusader period (1095 to 1291 CE).

Recently, cutting-edge micro-archeology tools were used to correctly date the construction of Wilson’s Arch, which supported one of the main pathways to the Second Temple.

The Western Wall (Kotel) is a 70-meter (230-foot) section of one of the huge retaining walls of Herod the Great’s expanded Second Temple compound, built around 20 BCE and destroyed by the Romans around 70 CE. It is revered as a place of worship for its proximity to the Temple Mount.

The tunnels behind the wall are still revealing amazing treasures and mysteries.

Davidson Archeological Park and Museum houses many artifacts including city walls from the First Temple period and the original street from the Second Temple period, as well as models and multimedia presentations.

The fourth-century Church of the Holy Sepulchre is built on the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. Since 2016, National Geographic has been documenting the restoration of the church’s Edicule, a small chapel believed to contain the empty tomb of Jesus.

City of David, the original “Old City” just outside the present walls. Excavations include a hidden spring where biblical kings were coronated, the flowing waters of Hezekiah’s Tunnel from the eighth century BCE, and a recently unearthed half-mile pilgrimage road leading to the Temple Mount – complete with burned coins and clothing fragments from 2,000 years ago.

The Second Temple compound was one of many ambitious building projects carried out by Roman client king Herod the Great. Another is the fortress at Masada, overlooking the Dead Sea.

The Northern Palace, built on three rock terraces, included bedrooms with a semicircular balcony, colonnaded halls adorned with paintings, and a private bathhouse.

A public bathhouse was excavated atop the plateau along with 29 huge storerooms, hundreds of clay pots, 12 gigantic cisterns, ritual baths and a stable-turned-synagogue (one of the earliest synagogues in the world).

Hiking paths and a cable car take visitors to the top of Israel’s most popular paid tourist site. At the foot, a nighttime sound and light show tells the legend of a popular revolt against the Romans by a band of Jewish families here.

Archeologists found skeletons and more than 5,000 coins, mostly minted during the five years of the rebellion, along with scroll fragments and more than 700 shards bearing inscriptions.

In the Yigael Yadin Masada Museum, visitors will see hundreds of ballista balls that were fired at the fortress by Roman soldiers.

Following a 10-year hiatus, a new excavation project at Masada is now underway, headed by Tel Aviv University archeologist Guy Stiebel.

Most of the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the caves of Qumran, a rocky cliff above the Dead Sea where a Second Temple-era Jewish sect, the Essenes, made their home and left their writings.

You can’t enter the caves, but you can learn about the Essenes in a museum at the site and then explore archaeological finds including ritual purification pools and a communal building with the remains of a kitchen, watchtower, pottery workshops and stables. A two-room scriptorium contains pottery and metal inkwells that may have been used by the Essenes to write their scrolls.

You can sign up for a guided night-time lamplight tour or a dramatized tour reconstructing the discovery and purchase of the scrolls in the 1940s.

One of the most popular tourist spots in Israel, Caesarea National Park on the northern coast contains many important artifacts with significance for Jews and Christians.

The Herodian harbor area (yes, Herod is at it again) was excavated in the last decade and yielded finds such as a sumptuous Roman palace and amphitheater from the time of Jesus.

Click here to read about the coin cache, Greek inscription and Roman mosaic floor uncovered last year and revealed at the opening ceremony of Caesarea Harbor Visitors Center.

Known as “the land of a thousand caves,” Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park encompasses approximately 1,250 acres of rolling hills in the Judean lowlands.

Over thousands of years, people cut into the rock to make a network of bell-shaped quarries, burial caves, storerooms, industrial facilities, hideouts and dovecotes.

At a high point in the park is Tel Maresha, where the Bible records that King Rehoboam of Judah built cities for defense. It was abandoned during the Roman period, when the nearby city of Beit Guvrin was built and became an important locale of the Crusader era.

Located at a critical ancient and modern crossroad in the Lower Galilee, Megiddo has a long, bloody history. Megiddo is identified with Armageddon, the scene of the battle of the End of Days according to Christian Scriptures.

Already a fortified city by the third millennium BCE, 1,000 years later Megiddo became a center of Egyptian rule over Canaan. King David then conquered Megiddo, and the city flourished under his son Solomon, who may have installed its impressive water system.

The Megiddo Museum offers an audiovisual presentation and models of the site’s highlights, such as a Late Bronze Age gate (1500-1200 BCE), a palace, Solomon’s Gate, lookouts and stables.

Recent excavations have unearthed clues to the past including a royal Canaanite tomb from the Middle Bronze Age and surprising remnants of vanilla in jugs from a 3,600-year-old burial site.

One of Israel’s largest archaeological sites, Beit She’an National Park encompasses the restored ruins of a 7,000-seat Roman theater, Greek colonnaded streets, gladiator amphitheater, Byzantine bathhouse and marketplace, Roman and Greek temples and a Samaritan synagogue.

You could easily spend most of the day exploring the 2,000 years of history at Beit She’an with the help of a guide or an audio presentation. After dark, the “She’an Nights” audio-visual show brings alive the ruins with breathtaking projected images.

8. Herodion (Herodium) National Park

Herodion was a kind of royal country club in the Roman-Hellenist era. It later served as a hideout for rebels during the Bar Kochba Revolt against Roman rule, and even as a Byzantine leper colony.

In 2007, archeologists finally discovered the remains of Herod the Great’s tomb in this Judean Desert site after 35 years of digging up architectural and cultural treasures. There are ongoing excavations at Herodion.

Tzipori (Sepphoris), the traditional birthplace of Mary, was an important city in the hills of Lower Galilee, west of Nazareth. Herod conquered it in 37 BCE, but 33 years later it was destroyed by the Romans following rebellions there.

Herod’s son Antipas restored Tzipori as “the ornament of all Galilee.” It was the seat of the Sanhedrin (the Jewish high court) and a preferred residence for Talmudic sages until the mid-fourth century CE.

Archeologists have found evidence of a devastating earthquake around 363, but again the city was rebuilt and settled by an unusual mix of Christians and Jews in the fifth century. Remains of the Crusader church commemorating St. Ann can still be seen, as well as a Crusader fortress, rebuilt in the 18th century by the Bedouin ruler of the Galilee.

Visitors can explore a 4,500-seat Roman theater a restored third-century villa in which a mosaic depicts scenes from the life of wine god Dionysus and the so-called “Mona Lisa of the Galilee” a synagogue with a restored mosaic floor and a 250-meter-long, first-century CE underground water system.

In addition to the astounding views of the Negev at Avdat National Park, you’ll see the well-preserved remains of Roman, Byzantine and Nabatean cities, including two large Byzantine churches, a Byzantine bathhouse, a magnificent Roman burial chamber, and a Nabatean fortress.

An explanatory movie at the entrance plaza is available in 15 languages (Hebrew, English, Arabic, French, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Czech, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese and Hungarian).

For over 16 years, ISRAEL21c has brought you the faces and places of Israel every day, spreading the word about Israel to millions of people in virtually every country around the globe. First of its kind, our content is originally researched, written and produced by seasoned experts directly from Israel.

We cannot do this without financial support from people like you. Become a GEM member and enjoy exclusive briefings from our staff and more - for $18 a month.


Nabataean City of Avdat in Israel - History

View from South

The city of Avdat (Oboda) was founded by the Nabateans in the 2nd century BC. Avdat was named after King Obodas III after he was buried here. In AD 106, the city became subject to Roman rule along with the rest of the Nabatean empire. The peak of Avdat’s prosperity was during the Byzantine period (4th–7th centuries AD). The city was destroyed by the Persians in AD 614.

Water Supply

The Nabateans built where no one had settled before. The Israelites’ territory stretched “from Dan to Beersheba,” but not further south (except for military posts). The annual precipitation seemed to be too little to support a settled population. The Nabateans proved this wrong and built cities in the highlands. They were able to prosper because of the rich trade that passed through the cities and their ability to carefully manage the water supply. Elaborate drainage systems were constructed to collect every ounce of rainwater and channel that into family or public cisterns.

Winepress

Four winepresses have been found in Avdat. The central pressing area was surrounded by small storage rooms, apparently used by the farmers who brought their grapes to this press. After being pressed, the grape juice would flow through the channel into a central collection pit. The ability of the Nabateans to produce such large quantities of grapes in this arid area is a remarkable testimony to their ingenuity.

Churches

The Nabateans converted to Christianity following Constantine’s conversion in the 4th century. Two churches were built at Avdat during the Byzantine period. The North Church (pictured at right) was built in the 4th century and the Church of St. Theodore was built in the 5th century. Reliquaries, containers holding a sacred relic, were kept inside the church. In one of the marble reliquaries, a small hole was made in the cover, through which oil could be poured over the relics. After the oil had touched the relic (often bones), the oil was collected in bottles for pilgrims to take home.

Spice Route

Avdat was a stop along the long caravan route known as the “Spice Route.” This route brought herbs, spices, perfumes, and treasures from the Arabian Peninsula to the Gaza port, by way of Petra and the Negev. Roads branched off from Avdat to other Nabatean cities including Mampsis, Nessana, and Gaza. Avdat was built on a commanding hill, 1,860 feet (570 m) above sea level.

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Related Websites

Avdat—A Nabatean City in the Negev (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Explains the history of Avdat in detail, covering the Nabatean, Roman, and Byzantine periods. The article has a few good photos, including an aerial shot of the site.

Avdat National Park (Israel Nature and Parks Authority) Briefly introduces the site, describing some of its history and providing details on making a visit.

Ein Avdat & Zin Valley (Tourist Israel) Another resource to help you plan your visit.

Avdat (The Israeli Mosaic) Informative article written by an Israeli (you’ll have to excuse some rough grammar). Details the history of the site and provides a description of the remains found there today.

Byzantine Fortress (personal website) Presents some nice photos of Avdat.

Ancient Site Restored after Modern Vandalism (Jewish Press) This 2013 article discusses vandalism at this archaeological site, and the restoration work done afterwards.

Ein Avdat (Atlas Obscura) Several excellent images accompany this introduction to the site.


Israel coins honor ancient city on incense trade route

One of Israel’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Sites is the latest subject of a coin series from the Bank of Israel.

Three coins for Avdat compose the sixth issue in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites series of Israeli coins.

Avdat is a site of a ruined Nabataean city in the Negev desert in southern Israel. It was the most important city on the Incense Route after Petra between the 1st century B.C. and the 7th century A.D.

From the 3rd century B.C. until the 2nd century A.D., the spice trade flourished. Costly incense, perfumes and spices were brought out of Arabia, across the Negev and to the Mediterranean ports. Nabataean travelers led their camel caravans along this 2,000 kilometer Incense Route, and Avdat was one of four Nabataean cities situated along the route through the Negev Desert. At the convergence of the ancient routes from Petra and Eilat and the route's continuation to the Mediterranean coast, Avdat was of great importance in the Nabatean spice trade.

Avdat is thought to be named after the Nabataean King Oboda (30 B.C. to 9 B.C.), who was buried there. The city prospered during the reign of the Nabataean King Aretas IV (9 B.C.to A.D. 40), when its acropolis was fortified and a large temple built within it.

When the Roman empire took over the region in A.D. 106 and annexed the Nabataean kingdom, Avdat, devoid of its caravan trade, fell into decline. The Nabataeans turned to farming and succeeded in developing sophisticated systems of water collection and agriculture in the desert.

Avdat was destroyed by the earthquake of 363. Under Byzantine rule in the sixth century, it flourished once again and reached its height. The city was finally abandoned in the seventh century following another earthquake in the year 630.

Excavations were carried out between 1958 and 2000 and Avdat was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2005.

The new comemorative coins recognizing the city site feature designs by Gideon Sagi.

The obverse carries the face value, “Israel” in Hebrew and Arabic as well as English, the year of issue, the Israel state emblem and a train of five camels

The reverse features the legend, ADVAT - INCENSE ROUTE in English, as well as its formations in Hebrew and Arabic, and small UNESCO and World Heritage Site emblems. The main design element is the restored gateway of the Nabatean temple, with dedicatory inscriptions engraved on the lintel across the top and a cravan of four camels passing before it.

The program features a Prooflike .925 fine silver 1-new-Israeli-shekel, a Proof .999 fine silver 2-NIS coin and a Proof .917 fine gold 10-NIS coin.

The Prooflike coin weighs 14.4 grams, measures 30 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 1,800 pieces. It retails for $49.

The Proof silver coin weighs 31.1 grams, measures 38.7 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 2,800 pieces. It retails for $80.

The gold coin weighs 16.96 grams, measures 30 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 555 pieces. It retails for $1,125.

A two-coin set of both silver coins retails for $125, and a three-coin set with an example of each costs $1,215.


Nessana

This Nabataean city is easily reached as it is very close to the Israel-Egypt border. It has a number of interesting ruins, but excavations have been very limited. During Roman times it was given the name: Palaestina Salutaris. A large number of papyrus scrolls dating from the fifth to seventh century was discovered there during excavations in the 1930&rsquos. One of the scrolls describes the deeds of St. George who resisted the anti-Chrisitan laws given by the Roman Empire. He was supposed killed three times, only to be resurrected. In the end he was imprision in the house of a widow, where he performed numerous miracles, including helaing the widos son of blindness. Subsequently, the cult of St. George was widespread in the Negev, and there was a monastery dedicated to St. George near Sobota.

Bibliography

Colt, H., Excavations At Nessana, Auja Hafir, Palestine, Vol I. Dunscombe (ed),London: British School of Archeology, 1962

Gibson, Dan, The Nabataeans, Builders of Petra, CanBooks, Saskatchewan, Canada 2002

Gibson, Dan, The Nabataean Collection, CanBooks, Saskatchewan, Canada, 2003

Glueck, Nelson, Rivers in the Desert, A history of the Negev, The Norton Library, W. W. Norton & Company Inc, New York, 1959, 1968

Levy, Udi, The Lost Civilization of Petra, Bath Press Color Books, Glasgow, 1999

Photos used with permission from Ben Gurion Universität des Negev Beer Sheva site.

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The Negev desert wine route

This dry and arid region in southern Israel is home to a burgeoning wine scene, thanks to a group of pioneering 21st-century farmers and their use of computerized drip irrigation.

Like most Middle Eastern deserts, the Negev is usually associated with sand, rock and the odd camel. However, this seemingly dry and arid region in southern Israel is now home to a burgeoning wine route, thanks to a group of pioneering 21st-century farmers and their use of computerized drip irrigation.

The Negev gets less than 100mm of rain per year, most of which is washed away in flash floods down mountainsides, so the use of irrigation is not necessarily new. The Nabataeans &ndash the ancient desert nomads who built their capital in Petra in the Hellenistic period &ndash were so good at conserving water that their kings used to deliberately waste it in front of guests to show off. You can still see traces of their ancient irrigation systems at the ruined cities of Shivta and Mamshit in the Negev. The Romans, who later controlled this region, were also partial to a drop of wine. Indeed, the ruins of Avdat even include an old Byzantine wine press.

But modern drip irrigation uses underground computerized probes and long plastic tubes to slowly release water over long distances. Today, this efficient method is used in more than 100 countries to grow crops using less water, energy and fewer chemicals, including projects in South Africa, China, India and even for growing tea in Tanzania.

Polish-born Simcha Blass is credited with introducing new "spaghetti tubes" to Israel in the 1950s, with longer passageways that would not get blocked by small particles. And now, for the first time in centuries, grapevines are taking root in soil that was once considered infertile.

The wine route started in the late 1990s, when Zvi Remak, who studied winemaking at California's Napa Valley College, decided to plant a vineyard on the grounds of the Sde Boker Kibbutz in the northern Negev. The Sde Boker Winery opened in 1999, and today specializes in handcrafted red wines made from zinfandel and carignan grapes. The winery is next to the former desert home of Israel's first prime minister David Ben-Gurion, and offers tastings in its small shop.

The Yatir Winery, which is close to the Dead Sea and the ancient 3,000-year-old Canaanite settlement of Tel Arad, released its first wines in 2004. Known for its sauvignon blanc and cabernet merlot blends, Yatir achieved meteoric success and was the first Israeli winery to be listed in London's exclusive department store Selfridges. The actual vineyard is located in the Yatir Forest underneath the Judean hills, the biggest planted forest in Israel, where you will find carob, pistachio and pine trees.

Most of the Negev desert wineries are located along Route 40, between the city of Be&rsquoer Sheva and the hilltop town of Mitzpe Ramon. Maps are available at the Negev Highlands tourist office.

Heading south on Route 40, the Boker Valley Vineyard has an excellent wine lodge and restaurant, as well as a farm store that sells wines and olive oil. The vineyard is run by a friendly Israeli-Dutch couple and offers accommodation in its modern, South African-style wooden cabins. An outdoor jacuzzi in the desert valley is the perfect place to sip champagne and watch the sunset.

Further south still, just before the town of Mitzpe Ramon and opposite the ruined Nabataean city of Avdat , the Carmey Avdat Winery is a family-run, ecological farm that cultivates grapes using ancient irrigation terraces. The winery produces fine merlots with a unique, salty desert taste, and they also offer bed and breakfast in six luxurious rooms.

Located 60km north of Eilat in the Arava valley, Neot Semadar (&ldquoNeot&rdquo means &ldquooasis&rdquo in Hebrew) is the southernmost winery in Israel. This alternative organic farm and vineyard sells its own range of boutique wines, olive oils, jams, homemade ice cream and cheeses in its rustic roadside restaurant surrounded by desert terrain.

Dan Savery Raz is co-author of Lonely Planet's Israel & the Palestinian Territories guide.

The article 'The Negev desert wine route' was published in partnership with Lonely Planet.


History

Prehistoric era

During the prehistoric era, Ein Avdat and its surroundings were for thousands of years inhabited, implied by the numerous flint artefacts that have been found in the area. The tools belonged to the Neanderthalic Mousterian culture which was active in the area 80,000–90,000 years ago. The abundance of flint in the outcrops nearby were apparently utilized by Neanderthals for many types of tools such as arrows, points and others. The ostrich egg shells and onager bones that have been found helps to describe the fauna of the epoch.

In the area there is also a large concentration of flint tool remnants, samples of man-made knives and other hand held stones that is dating from the Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods, and remains of a small settlement consisting of several round structures dating from the Bronze Age. [3]

Antiquity

During the Hellenistic period the nearby city of Avdat became a station along the Nabatean Incense Route, an ancient trading route stretching across Egypt to India through the Arabian Peninsula. Other regions in the Negev were not inhabited and there was no agriculture at the time. However, agriculture developed during the early Roman era when the Nabataean kingdom peaked. At this time the forts of the Incense Route became thriving cities with many public buildings along with farming at the outskirts, and although the kingdom was annexed by the Roman empire in 106 CE, Avdat continued to prosper as a major station along the Incense Route. [3] [4]

The city developed into a Christian city during the Byzantine period and Ein Avdat became inhabited by monks who lived in the caves of the canyon. These monks sculpted out closets, shelves, benches, stairs, and water systems. The caves are also decorated with crosses and prayers engraved on the walls. [3] [5] After the Muslim conquest of Palestine though the region was abandoned. [3]

Modern era

The place became easily accessible in the 1950s, after the establishment of the kibbutz Sde Boker in 1952, and the construction of Highway 40 leading to Eilat. The trail going through the canyon was constructed in 1956 and is now a part of the Israel National Trail, a hiking path that crosses the entire country of Israel. [3]

Because of its rich milieu and history Ein Avdat has been designated as a National Park of Israel. The Ein Avdat national park (Hebrew: גנים לאומיים עין עבדת ‎) incorporates the canyon for all its length. There are two entrances, a southern at the summit of the canyon, located at roughly 500 meters (1,640 ft) above sea level, and a northern at approximately 400 meters (1,312 ft) above sea level. Between them there is a distance of 5 kilometers (3 mi). [6] [7]


Management Science and Engineering

Mansour A Shqiarat
Department of Archaeology, Al-Hussein Bin Talal University, Ma’an-Jordan.

Water Management in Petra: Nabataean Hydraulic Overview

Abstract

The study of Nabataean hydraulics has long been focused on the collection and distribution of water across the landscape and within the city of Petra. Traditionally, the collection, distribution and uses of water have been viewed from a purely practical standpoint: it is thought of as a resource, to be regulated and conserved and devoted to functional purposes. In his description of the Petra environment, the ancient Greek geographer, Strabo, pointed out two factors significant to the establishment of Petra as an urban settlement despite its arid desert environment. This paper concerning all the issues related to the water management in Petra. However, it starts by identification of Petra strategic location, followed by irrigation at Petra and storage of water. The Siq, which is the main entrance of Petra, is introduced for its importance role in managing the water during Nabataean period. Also this paper describes water management system used at Petra, this includes methods and controlling devices and all other sources utilised.

Keywords

Full Text:

References

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Al-Muheisen, Z. (2002). Hydrology and Irrigation at Nabataean Period [in Arabic]. Petra: Biet Al Anabt.

Al-Muheisen, Z., & Tarrier, D. (1996). Menaces d’eaux et mesures preventives à Petra à l’époque nabatéenne. Paris : Syria 73, 1-4.

Al-Muheisen, Z., & Tarrier, D. (1997). Ressources naturelles et l’occupation du site de Petra. Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan, 2, 45-57.

Al-Shqiarat, M. ( 2018). Water management in Jordan past, present and future. Lambert Academic Publishing.

Bachmann, W. (1921). Petra. (Wissenschaftliche Veroffentlichungen des Deutsch-turkischen Denkmalschutz-Kommandos, 3). Berlin and Leipzig.

Ball, W. (2000). Rome in the east: transformation of an empire. London: Routledge.

Browning, I. (1973). Petra. London: Chatto and Windus.

Brunnow, E., & Domaszewski, A. (1897-1898). Published an ambitious three-volume mapping project in their. Die Provincia Arabia 1904-09.

Crouch, D., & Rinne, K. (1996). Aquae Urbis Romae: An historical overview of water in the public life of Rome. In N. de Haan & G. Jansen (Eds.), Cura Aquarum in Campania (Proceedings of the Ninth International Congress on the History of Water Management and Hydraulic Engineering in the Mediterrannean Region. Pompeii, 1-8 October 1994): 145-151. Leiden: Babessch.

Dalman, G. (1912). Neue petra-forschungen. Leipzig.

Eadie, J., & Oleson, J. (1986). The water -supply systems of the Nabataean and Roman Humeyma. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 262, 49-76.

Eisenberge, E. (1998). The ecology of Eden. New York: Knopf.

Erhlich, L. (1989). The water works of Hadrian’s Villa. Journal of Garden History, 9(4), 161-171.

Evenari, M., & Koller, D. (1956). Ancient masters of the desert. Scientific American, 194(4), 39-45.

Evenari, M., Shanan, L., & Tadmor, N. (1971). The Negev: the challenge of desert. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

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