A researcher studying the City of Ancient Petra has uncovered evidence of a Nabatean woman of high status who wielded power in these ancient times. Finding this record of one individual shed light on these times where women seemed equal to men.

The woman turned out to be a rich and highly influential individual who was significant in these ancient times that were usually patriarchal. Women of power like Cleopatra, Hatshepsut weren't that many, and finding such evidence is important historically.

Women's status in the City of Petra

Archeologists looking into Petra have uncovered accounts of a powerful Nabatean patroness who had clout that would equal men, reported the Express UK.

The ancient history of the Middle East, the City of Petra, stood out as the locus of politics, culture, and where money was made via old economics, according to History. During this time, it was a trading center for the Nabateans, who were native to the land.

These magnificent towers of the ancient world were carved into the cliffs of southwestern Jordan and parts of southern Israel. Petra has survived for millennia and is the wonder of the ancients.

Nabateans were very wealthy and accumulated vast empires with riches, and empires saw them with greedy eyes and envy. Money in the ancient world meant power that was carried over into modern times.

Romans invades Petra

Greek armies in the archaic past tried to sack the ancient city of Petra for its wealth and power in 312 BC but were repulsed by the Nabateans. This first attempted raid that the hidden city was mentioned in history.

The battle with the Greeks was successful, and the attack failed; this defense of the Nabateans was not as fortunate when the Roman got a crack at them in 106 AD. A Nabatean woman of influence could have lost power had the Greeks won.

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After taking over the city of Petra, the Romans held sway for almost three centuries or 250 years. Misrule and the defeat of its former master let the city slip into history forgotten until its rediscovery led to a great account.

Evidence about women in ancient Petra

An archeological team in 1961 found documents that were found hidden in southern Israel, similar to the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the ancient records were lying in a cave for two millennia.

A documentary by the Smithsonian Channel explored the subject of Petra. Part of the history is that a Nabatean patroness called Abi-adan was alive in the 1st century AD.

Information from the scrolls shows that she owned an orchard in Maoza close to the Dead Sea. All the records are in the Israel Antiquities Authority.

According to Professor Hannah Cotton-Paltiel from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, she has expertise in these particular scrolls.

Abi-adan, in the two documents, was selling her orchard to several people in succession; one of the buyers is Archelaus, a provincial governor. A month later, another deal where one called Shim'on was done.

More research shows the Nabatean woman was literate and later linked her property to the current Nabatean ruler then. All these activities point to her stature as a patroness in the ancient city of Petra. Cotton-Paltiel added they were legal documents and pointed to women as equal to men at that time.

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