A Morning in Petra

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A Morning in Petra

<p>Petra – the ‘rose-red’ city cut from the living rock – is one of the most spectacular ancient cities still available for tourists to visit. Its magnificent monuments illustrate the wealth of the

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Petra – the ‘rose-red’ city cut from the living rock – is one of the most spectacular ancient cities still available for tourists to visit. Its magnificent monuments illustrate the wealth of the city from its rise from obscurity to its pivotal role in international trade in the period 150BC to 100AD. International archaeological teams are still drawn to Petra to uncover yet more of its history and culture. This session day introduces the site, its role and its monuments, placing the glories of Petra in its international context at the peak of late Greek-early Roman development in the eastern Mediterranean.


SUGGESTED READING

  • G Bowersock, Roman Arabia, Harvard University Press, 1983.
  • I Browning, Petra, Chatto & Windus, 1982 (rev.ed. 1989).
  • G Lankestar Harding, The Antiquities of Jordan, 1988 (2nd ed.rev.).


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Introduction: Historical and geographical background. The discovery of Petra.
  • Early Petra – 4th and 3rd Centuries BC – arrival of Petra’s inhabitants, the Nabataean Arabs. Growth of international trade. Petra in its setting – the world of the Mediterranean, dominated by Alexandria.
  • Major tour of Petra’s monuments: city centre, temples, civic buildings, streets etc. Introduction to the rock-cut tombs – methods of dating (Australia’s contribution)
  • Petra – a blend of Arab/Semitic East, and the Classical world of Rome. Local life, local religions reflecting this. Incorporation into the Roman Empire. The spread of the Nabataeans beyond Petra. Nabataean art.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe one of the Ancient World’s most famous and imposing sites, placing it in its historical, religious, political and artistic setting.
  2. Display a broad knowledge of the period under examination, and of the techniques used by archaeologists/art historians in their work.
  3. Explore avenues of further study.