Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, Vol 22, No 1 (2009)

Archaeological Evidence of Land Tenure in the Petra Region, Jordan: Nabataean-Early Roman to Late Byzantine

Paula Kouki
Issued Date: 22 Jun 2009


The sixth-century AD Petra Papyri indicate the existence of a wealthy land-owning class in Petra, Jordan. To see whether this situation is reflected in archaeological data, the evidence of rural settlement in the Petra region between the first and early seventh century AD is reviewed. The results indicate that after the expansion of sedentary life in the first century AD, rural settlement began to contract by the third century. The decline continued through the fourth century. The settlement pattern that emerges in the fifth century AD is that of nucleated agricultural villages and towns. This development is seen as related to the profound economic change in the region brought about by the cessation of interregional trade through Petra.

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DOI: 10.1558/jmea.v22i1.29


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