The Nabataean people controlled the Petra region of modern-day Jordan from sometime before 300 BCE until the Roman Annexation of the Nabataean kingdom in 106 CE. The Nabataeans are known for the monumental façades carved into the sandstone cliffs surrounding their capital city. The first survey of the façade monuments was undertaken by Brünnow and Domaszewski in 1904. They created a typology that has only been slightly modified by subsequent authors including Judith McKenzie (1990). This typology does not account for all of the variations in façade types in Petra, thus creating a need for a new typology proposed in this paper. Additionally, no previous studies of the façade monuments has examined the impact of geological structures such as the orientation of the pre-existing cliffs, the presence of faults and fractures, and the height of the available cliffs. This study also assesses the potential role of naturally occurring zones of weakness in the sedimentary cliffs such as those created by faults and fractures caused by regional and local tectonic activity and their potential impact on Nabataean rock-cut structures. In order to organize the 300 Nabataean façades in this data set, it also became necessary to develop a new and more comprehensive typology of these structures than has been previously developed in Nabataean scholarship.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Anthropology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Newbold, Josie M., "The Nabataean Façade Monuments of Petra, Jordan: An Assessment of the Façade Monuments and Their Geological Environment." (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 9368.
Nabataean, Petra, façade, geology, Dead Sea Fault