Nabataean Edom: A demographic and archaeological approach to modelling sedentarisation and regional dynamics

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Abstract

There is a general consensus amongst scholars that the Nabataeans were originally nomads who had migrated from somewhere in Arabia into southern Jordan in the period following the collapse of the Iron Age kingdoms and the beginning of the Persian period. The questions of why, when and how the process of the sedentarisation of the Nabataeans took place is still a matter of debate, but scholars have in general concluded that trade was the principal factor. Here arguments for a different approach are presented in the form of two models. Model 1 suggests how the sedentarisation of the Nabataeans in its initial phase can be seen as a self-initiated process impacted by two main factors: demographic (population growth) and political (centralisation of power); trade, however, must have intensified this process. Model 2 suggests that the process of sedentarisation was not sudden but gradual, and that it resulted in regional specialisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-163
Number of pages21
JournalLevant
Volume39
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology

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