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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Hellenistic Monarchies| ▸ |Nabataean Kingdom||View Options:  |  |  | 

Nabataean Kingdom

The early Nabataeans forsook all building and agriculture because those who possess these things, in order to retain them, are easily compelled by the powerful to do their bidding. Rather than fight invaders, they would go into the desert, where only they could survive, and wait for the invaders to leave. Aretas II was a contemporary of Alexander Jannaeus. Aretas III was the first to issue coins, which he began after he defeated the Seleucid army in 84 B.C. and the council of Damascus asked him to govern their city. A Roman army under Marcus Aemilius Scaurus defeated Aretas III and besieged Petra, but paying a tribute, Aretas received formal recognition by the Roman Republic. The kingdom was slowly surrounded by the expanding Roman Empire, who conquered Egypt and annexed Judea, but wealthy from incense trade, Nabataea paid tribute and retained independence. The Nabataeans fought against Herod and also provided forces to the Romans during the Second Jewish Revolt. After the last Nabataean king, Rabbel II, died in 106 A.D., Trajan incorporated Nabataea into the Roman province Arabia Petraea. One of the latest known Nabataean language inscriptions, from 191 A.D., records "...This in the year 85 of the Eparchy [Roman Rule], in which Arabs destroyed the land." It seems likely that raiding Arab tribes extinguished what remained of a weakened Nabataean culture. In 747 A.D. what was left of the Nabataean cities was destroyed in a major earthquake.


Byzantine Palestina III, Petraean-Early Byzantine Oil Lamp, c. 325 - 520 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Grawehr writes, "...firstly, lamps of this period were produced with great care and are well fired; they were of far better quality than their predecessors of the 3rd century A.D. Secondly, one single type - the Petraean-Early Byzantine lamp - is clearly dominating, and thirdly, this type is concentrated in a relatively small area east of the Wadi Arabah between Wadi Mujib and the Red Sea." He further notes that the quality attests to an upswing in the regional economy, but the distribution indicates increasing regionalism.
AL21909. Petraean-Early Byzantine Oil Lamp; Grawehr type L, 504 (very similar, Petra, Ez Zantur III, 325-520 A.D.); 8.7 cm long, 6.0 cm wide, Choice, intact, tiny chip in fill hole edge, small chip in shoulder (visible in photo), c. 325 - 520 A.D.; red clay, cream slip, mold-made, thin walled, piriform body, single rim around wick hole, double rim around large filling hole, very small knob handle, lines on nozzle radiating from wick hole the outer lines ending in a spiral, curved lines radiating from filling hole on shoulders, ring base, maker's mark VV on bottom below the handle; $280.00 SALE |PRICE| $252.00


Byzantine Palestina III, Petraean-Early Byzantine Oil Lamp, c. 325 - 520 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Grawehr writes, "...firstly, lamps of this period were produced with great care and are well fired; they were of far better quality than their predecessors of the 3rd century A.D. Secondly, one single type - the Petraean-Early Byzantine lamp - is clearly dominating, and thirdly, this type is concentrated in a relatively small area east of the Wadi Arabah between Wadi Mujib and the Red Sea." He further notes that the quality attests to an upswing in the regional economy, but the distribution indicates increasing regionalism.
AL21907. Petraean-Early Byzantine Oil Lamp; Grawehr type L, 503 (nearly identical, Petra, Ez Zantur III, 325 - 520 A.D.), Zanoni 31; 8.7 cm long, 6.4 cm wide, Choice, complete and intact, encrustation, c. 325 - 520 A.D.; reddish clay, cream slip, mold-made, thin walled, piriform body, double rim around medium size filling hole, very small knob handle, lines on nozzle radiating from wick hole the outer lines ending in a spiral, pellets and and a wheel or star in circle on each shoulder, ring base with ornamental radiating lines; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00


Roman Palestina or Arabia, Nabataean Pottery Oil Lamp, c. 225 - 300 A.D.

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This lamp came to us in a group accumulated in Israel. The four Nabatean towns of Haluza, Mamshit, Avdat and Shivta, with their associated fortresses and agricultural landscapes linking them to the Mediterranean are in the Negev Desert, southern Israel today. In his, Nabataean Clay Lamps, an Analytical Study of Art and Myths, Nabil Khariy identifies lamps known from the Nabataean sites, especially Petra, which can be differentiated from Greek, Roman and Judaean parallels and identified specifically as Nabataean made. Khariy notes that although the Nabataeans lost their independence in 106 A.D., excavations clearly show aspects of Nabataean culture continued until late in the 6th century A.D. Khariy 66, similar to this lamp, is described as made with a local clay and cruder than similar lamps from non-Nabataean sites. Grawehr type J3, like this lamp, has a larger filling hole than most similar lamps. The larger filling hole is found on late examples of the type.
AL21908. Nabatean Oil Lamp; cf. Khariy 66; Grawehr J3 (Petra, 225-300 A.D.) Murray-Ellis p. 26, 16 (Petra, ND); Negev-Sivan p. 117, 129 (Mampsis, 75-200 A.D.), near Choice, intact, small chips in handle, c. 225 - 300 A.D.; reddish-brown clay, round body, small rounded nozzle, small knob handle, defined ridge separating shoulders from plain concave discus, ten stamped rosettes impressed around shoulders, very low ring base; $150.00 (Ä132.00)







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REFERENCES|

Barkay, R. "New Nabataean Coins" in INJ 16 (2007-8).
Barkay, R. "Seven new silver coins of Malichus I and Obodas III" in NC 2006, pp. 99 - 103.
Barkay, R. "The earliest Nabataean coinage" in NC 2011.
Bowersock, G. Roman Arabia. (Cambridge, 1983).
Bowsher, J. "Early Nabataean Coinage" in ARAM 2:1-2 (1990), pp. 221-228.
Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Dussad, R. "Numismatique des rois de Nabatene" in Journal Asiatique 12 (1904), pp 189 - 238.
Hill, G. A Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum - Arabia, Mesopotamia and Persia. (London, 1922).
Hoover, O. "A Reassessment of Nabataean Lead Coinage in Light of New Discoveries" in NC 2006.
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of the Southern Levant: Phoenicia, Southern Koile Syria (Including Judaea), and Arabia, Fifth to First Centuries BC. HGC 10. (Lancaster, PA, 2010).
Huth, M. Coinage of the Caravan Kingdoms, Ancient Arabian Coins from the Collection of Martin Huth. ACNAC 10. (New York, 2010).
Huth, M. & P. van Alfen. Coinage of the Caravan Kingdoms. Studies in the Monetization of Ancient Arabia. ANSNS 25. (New York, 2010).
Meshorer, Y. Nabatean Coins, Qedem 3. (Jerusalem, 1975).
Plant, R. The Coinage of the Nabataeans, Seaby Coin and Medal Bulletin, March 1979, pp. 81-84.
Robinson, E. "Coins from Petra etc." in NC 1936, pp. 288-291, pl. XVII.
Schmitt-Korte, K. & M. Cowell. "Nabatean Coinage - Part I. The Silver Content Measured by X-ray Fluorescence Analysis" in NC 1989, pp. 33-58, pl. 11-17.
Schmitt-Korte, K. "Nabatean Coinage - Part II. New Coin Types and Variants" in NC 1990, pp. 105-133, pl. 10-15.
Schmitt-Korte, K. & M. Price. "Nabatean Coinage - Part III. The Nabatean Monetary System" in NC 1994, pp. 67-131, pl. 10-12.
Spikerman. A. The coins of the Decapolis and Provincial Arabia. (Jerusalem, 1978).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 6: Palestine - South Arabia. (New York, 1981).
Tal, O. "Coin denominations and weight standards in fourth-century BCE Palestine" in INR 2, pp. 24 - 28.

Catalog current as of Saturday, January 25, 2020.
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Nabataean Coins