the Nabateans

The History Of Petra

The Nabateans

Much of Petra’s fascination comes from the coloured crystalline structure sand stones setting on the edge of Wadi Arabah. The rugged sandstone hills form deep canyons easily protected from all directions. Traces of Palaeolithic ”10,000 BC’ man have been, but in a remote and very inaccessible valley in the heart of the mountain, and there is evidence of trade with faraway Asia Minor and the Mediterranean coast.

Archaeologists believe that Petra has been inhabited from prehistoric times. Just north of the city at Beidaha, the remains of a 9000 year old city have been discovered, putting it in the same league as Jericho in the Dead Sea area as one of the earliest known settlements in the middle east. Between that time and the Iron age ”circa 1200 BC”, when it was the home of the Edomites, virtually nothing is known. The Edomites where taking the left summit shown above of Umm al-Biyara, in central Petra which often identified as the ”Sela” in the Bible. The bible tells that King David subdued the Edomites, probably around 1000 BC.

The Nabatean city of Petra, nested away in the mountains south of the Dead Sea. Petra, Which ”stone” in Greek, is perhaps the most spectactular ancient city remaining in the modern word. The Nabateans-Arabs who dominated the lands of the Arabian Deserts during pre-Roman times.

Nabatean temples and shrines in the capital city of Petra, carved out of solid rock.

For seven centuries Petra fell into the mists of legend, its existencea guarded secret known only to the local Bedouinns and Arab tradesmen. Finally, in 1812, a youg Swiss explorer named Johann.L.Burckhardt headr locals speaking of a ”lost city” hidden in the mountains of Wadi Musa or ”Moses Valley in english”. Moses Valley is the area’s principle water source, ”Ain Musa” meaning Spring of Moses, which is thought to be the place where the Moses struck a rock with his staff to extract water (Number 20:10-13).

In order to find the site without arousing local suspicions. Burckhardt disguised himeself as a pilgrim seeking to make a sacrifice at the tomb of Aaron, a mission that would provide him a glimpse of the legendary city. Aaron , brother of Moses and Miriam, died in the Petra area and was buried atop Mount Hor, now known as Jabal Haroun ”Mount Aaron”. After Buurkhardt visit the secret of Petra was revealed to the modern western world.

Petra’s excellent state of preservation can be attributed to the fact that almost all of its buildings have been carved out of solid rocks.

The Nabateans:

Sometime during the sixth centuary BC, a nomadic tribe known as the Nabateans migrated from western Arabia and settled in the area. It aoears as though the Nabatean was gradual and there were few hostilities between them and the Edomites then residing in the area. As the Nabateans forsook their nomadic lifestyle and settled in Petra, they grew rich.

The Nabateans were originally a nomadic group who came from a coalition of Arab tribes under the leadership of the King of Qedar. probably the coalition of the lost Arabs tribes who desended from the Sheperd Kings or the Hyksos of the lineage like the Quraishy tribe of Mekkah. From the Hyksos or Pastoral shepherds came the Linage of the Nabateans through the sacred marraidge of Abraham and Hagar. Here is where the name Ha’Arab (The ancient name for Ismael’s lineage) came into existence as a ‘lost’ tribe descended from the Mazur of the Shepherd Kings from Hagar side as well as the Mazur of the Shepherd Kings lineage from Abraham side. Both of which originated from the original Atlantean- Melchizedek family-tribes which had already been mixed with the Nephilimic consciousness components and genetics. For more on this subject read: The Five Culture Tribes & The Three Star Races.

The Qedarites were a powerfull tribe that roamed the desert around Wadi Sirhan area of northern Arabia. It is thought that the Qedarites gained supermacy over a group of northern tribes in the Arabian Peninsula between the eighth and fifth centuries BC.
While the king of Qedar ruled over the northern tribes, another coalition existed to the south, probably centering on the oasis of al-‘ula during the Persion perio ”539-332 BC”.

The nabateans emerged from the northern alliance as a separate and powerful tribe who gradually created their own distinctive culture and adopted a spiritual lifestyle. Their contract with traders were done in Aramaic. The earliest known reference to the Nabateans as a people is in 647 BC, in a list of enemies of the last great Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal.

Diodorus Siculus ”310 BC”, account of the Nabateans:

”The Arabs love freedom, they live under the open sky and have chosen a country without sources and rivers. They neither corn, nor trees, they do not drink wine and they build no houses. Infringers are punished with death. Some tribes have camels, others small cattle”.

”One tribe, the Nabateans, only 10,000 men, are famous for their riches. They sell incense, myrrh and other spices to the Mediterranean countries and get these merchandises from Arabia Felix in the South. Their country, without water, is unpenetrable to enemies, but the Nabateans possess cisterns to collect rain water, the place of which is known only to the inhabitants of the country. Their animals are watered every three days to accustom them to a flight throughout a waterless country. They eat meat and drink milk, also pepper and a resin diluted with water.” (Diodorus Siculus)

Strabo’s Account Of The Nabateans:

”The house are sumptuous, and stone. The cities are without walls, on account of the country peace [which prevails among them]. A great part of the country is fertile, and produces everything except oil of olives; [instead of it], the oil of sesame is used. The sheep have white fleeces, their oxen are large; but the country produces no horses. Camels are the substitute for horses, and perform the [same kind of] labour. They wear no tunics, but have a girdle about the lions, and walk abroad in sandals. The dress of the kings is the same, but the colour is purple”.

”Some merchandise is altogether imported into the country, others are not altogether imports, especially as some articles are native products, as gold and silver, and many of the aromatics; but brass and iron, purple garments, styrax, saffron, and white cinnamon, pieces of sculpture, paintings, statues, are not to be procured in the country”.

”They look upon the bodies of the dead as no better than dung, according to the words of Heracleitus, “dead bodies more fit to be cast out than dung” wherefore they bury even their kings beside dung-heaps. They worship the sun, and construct altar on the top of a house , pouring out libations and burning frankincense upon it every day”.

”The Nabataean are prudent, and found of accumulating property. The community fine a person who has diminished his substance, and confer honours on him who has increased it. They have slaves, and are served for the most part by their relations, or by one another, or each person is his own servant; and this custom extends even to their kings. They eat their meals in companies consisting of thirteen persons. Each party is attended by two musicians. But the king gives many entertainments in great buildings. No one drinks more than eleven [appointed] cupfuls, from separate cups, each of gold”.

Nabatean Beliefs Of The Supernatural:

The Nabatean believed in other supernatural entities that affected the lives of human beings. First, there were the ancestors whose spirits continued after their physical bodies had perished. The Nabateans believed in the existence of the human soul and its ability to survive seperately from the human body.

They also believed in certain forces or powers known as Djinn that were less than gods but nonetheless strange and sometimes malevolent spirits that often played a significant role in the daily life of humans for good or evil.

The above Nabataean stone found in the temple of the Winged Lion at Petra, dedicated to the Egyptian Goddess Isis. The inscreption on the base does not tell us the name it only reads ”Goddess of Hayyan son of Nypt”. The two geometric shapes drawn on the sides are called “Vesica Pisces”. The Vesica Pisces represents the Holy of Holies within this overlap zone, or “Vesica,” between divine reality and the reality of a matter world ”Earth”. The shape of the human eye itself is a Vesica Piscis. The ratio of the axes of the above form is the square root of 3, which alludes to the deepest nature of the triune which cannot be adequately expressed by rational language alone.