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Acquired at Petra, 50 miles south of the Dead Sea, in December 1974. Dated 2nd c. BC to 2nd c. A.D.

Petra, formerly called Sela, capital of Edom, lies 50 miles south of the Dead Sea. Straddling the great trade routes, several wealthy cultures centered about this marvelous city carved in the sandstone wall of the box canyon. The narrow entrance made it easy to defend. The Nabataean Empire (ca. 170 BC – AD 106) with its series of Kings bearing the name of Aretas controlled the desert routes east and south of Syria-Palestine until Trajan’s conquest (AD 106). During this century Petra remained a prosperous center until the trade shifted to Palmyra. The Nabataean potters developed a distinctive ware unsurpassed in Palestine, compared by some to delicate china.

These very delicate buff dishes were decorated with floral and geometric designs in red.


biblical archaeology, Petra, Sela, Edom, Dead Sea, Nabataean Empire, buff dishes