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Title / Description: El-Deir (The Monastery)Commentary: For a closer view, see El-Deir.
Provenance: Petra, Jordan
Object Type: image - architecture
Date: 3rd c. CE
Petra was the capital of the Nabatean kingdom, located about 50 miles south of the Dead Sea, in the modern country of Jordan. In his Antiquities, Josephus identified Petra with the Biblical Rekem (Numbers 31:8), an identification which has been corroborated by inscriptions found at Petra. The first known Nabatean ruler, Aretas I, appears in 2 Maccabees 5:8. Therefore, the Nabateans seem to have arrived on the scene as a local power during the early 2nd century BCE. The Nabatean kingdom became a client kingdom of the Roman empire in the mid-1st century BCE, and was annexed to the Roman empire by Trajan (r. 98-117) in 106 CE, with Petra becoming the capital of the province of Arabia. Petra's wealth derived from its proximity to the caravan routes which plied along in the area. This is a picture of the ed-Deir tomb, carved out of the side of a cliff. This tomb appears like a squat version of the khazneh. Each of the tombs two levels have a number of engaged columns, all of which are topped with Nabatean style capitals. A tholos stands in the upper middle part of the tomb, and several pediments and niches can also be observed.
The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, vol. 4
Author of Commentary: Adam Mendelson
Source: Witz, Konrad, ca. 1400-1444/6 Leann Pace-Mahoney image collection