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Petra and the Nabataeans

  • Juan Antonio BelmonteEmail author
  • A. César González-García
Reference work entry

Abstract

The Nabataeans built several monuments in Petra and elsewhere displaying decoration with a certain preference for astronomical motifs. A statistical analysis of the orientation of their sacred monuments demonstrates that astronomical orientations were often part of an elaborate plan and possibly reflect traces of the astral nature of Nabataean religion. Petra and other monuments in the ancient Nabataean kingdom demonstrate the interaction between landscape features and astronomical events. Among other things, the famous Ad Deir has revealed a fascinating ensemble of light and shadow effects, perhaps connected with the bulk of Nabataean mythology, while a series of suggestive solstitial and equinoctial alignments emanate from the impressive Urn Tomb, which might have helped bring about its selection as the cathedral of the city.

Keywords

Celestial Body Shadow Cast Winter Solstice Spring Equinox Evening Star 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work is partially financed under the framework of the projects P310793 “Arqueoastronomía” of the IAC and AYA2011-26759 “Orientatio ad Sidera III” of the Spanish MINECO.

References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Antonio Belmonte
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. César González-García
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Universidad de La LagunaLa Laguna, TenerifeSpain
  2. 2.Instituto de Ciencias del Patrimonio, IncipitSantiago de CompostelaSpain

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