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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 2005 → Constructing Nabataea : Identity, ideology, and connectivity (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Israel)


Constructing Nabataea : Identity, ideology, and connectivity (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Israel)

Anderson, Bjorn Peter

Titre : Constructing Nabataea : Identity, ideology, and connectivity (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Israel) >

Auteur : Anderson, Bjorn Peter

Université de soutenance : UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2005

This dissertation explores cultural identity in the kingdom of Nabataea through an interdisciplinary approach to textual, art historical, and archaeological evidence. Nabataea, centered at Petra in the south of the modern kingdom of Jordan, operated as an independent polity from at least 323 B.C.E. until the Roman annexation of Arabia in 106 C.E. It extended into northwestern Saudi Arabia, Israel’s Negev desert, and southern Syria. Nabataea was by no means a homogeneous entity. Numerous sub-groups can be distinguished, and there seems not to have been any single factor used to determine one’s status as a Nabataean. Differences in ethnicity, religion, descent, social standing, and lifestyle (nomadic or sedentary) can be observed among those who claimed membership in Nabataea. Some emphasized their identity as Nabataeans by kinship, others by their geographic position within the kingdom, and others by their association with the royal house. None of these were definite qualifications, however. There are many cases in which individuals, who to all appearances would be expected to define themselves as Nabataeans, expressly designate themselves in different terms altogether. In this project, I examine aspects of Nabataea in order to approach the problem of how Nabataea and Nabataean-ness were variously engaged, appropriated, and recast in different contexts. Chapter 1 assesses the character of the landscapes from which the Nabataeans emerged, using an approach that combines history, culture, and environment. Chapter 2 considers how these landscapes and their inhabitants responded to the establishment of the kingdom, and what developments took place in its different sub-regions. Following these discussions, there is a shift from general observations to specific case studies of particular groups. Chapter 3 examines how gender and family relations inform our understanding of social interaction, especially in terms of how women’s roles were defined and understood. Chapter 4 looks at the kings and their crafting of royal personae, paying attention to how the audiences of their propaganda received it. Chapter 5 documents the choices made by elites in regard to the decoration of their monumental tombs, and then asks how they may have resonated both within and without Nabataea. Taken together, these analyses illustrate that Nabataean cultural identity was the result of complex dialogues conducted simultaneously on a variety of levels.



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