Glimpses into Nabatean Culture and Society based on Inscriptions from the Hisma (Southern Jordan)
Dr. David Graf
NEH Fellow, ACOR-CAORC Fellow & Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Miami
Wednesday 17 September 2014 at 6:00 pm
Reception to Follow
About the Lecture:
From the perspective of their architecture and sculpture at Petra, the Nabataeans emerge as a skilled, talented, and sophisticated people. In contrast, they are frequently portrayed by historians as nomadic and primitive. Their inscriptions are often neglected, as they are brief and repetitive, and those outside of Petra are viewed as the product of simple pastoralists. The accumulation of an epigraphic corpus from the region of Wadi Ramm and the Hisma of southern Jordan since the 1980s has provided rare glimpses into Nabataean political and social organization, daily life, and religion and offers a different view of this population, suggesting it was far more complicated and more sophisticated than previously thought. A few of these gems of insight will be discussed.
About the Lecturer:
David Graf is a professor at the University of Miami and a specialist in the history and archaeology of the Greco-Roman Near East. As an NEH/CAORC Senior Fellow at ACOR (July-December 2014), he is working on an epigraphical corpus of Nabataean Aramaic, Greek, and Pre-Islamic Arabian texts he has documented between Amman and Aqaba since the early 1980s.
He is the author of Rome and the Arabian Frontier: From the Nabataeans to the Saracens (1997) and an associate editor of the multi-volume Anchor Bible Dictionary (1994). He is the current director of the Hellenistic Petra Project and the leader of the first joint Saudi-American archaeological project in the Asir Province of Saudi Arabia. He is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and currently serves on ASOR’s Committee on Archaeological Policy.