Under the Patronage of HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, the 3rd International Conference on Petra and the Nabataean Culture opened today in Petra under the title "The Nabataeans - Economy and Culture".
The 3-day event is organized by UJ's School of Archeology and Tourism in cooperation with Petra Development & Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA).
Minister of Education, Prof. Azmi Mahafzah, inaugurated the conference on behalf of HRH the prince.
Prof. Ahmad Majdoubeh, UJ Vice President, delivered the opening speech in which he underscored the importance of this conference and the lessons that can be learned from such a unique place and culture.
"Several lessons can be learned from their water-harvesting system, their commerce and trade, their politics…"
The Vice President also pointed out that there is much to uncover about the archeological and cultural treasures of the Nabataean civilization.
"Petra, though one of the most precious wonders of the globe and one of the most famous and most visited, is still in need of both more excavations and more studies," he said.
Furthermore, Majdoubeh confirmed UJ's willingness to firmly cooperate with national partners including PDTRA and international partners to give Petra and the Nabataean culture the proper attention.
PDTRA Chief Commissioner Falah Al Omoush said in his address that the conference is a platform to display the latest discoveries and research findings about the Nabataean civilization presented by an elite group of experts.
Al Omoush stated that the discovery of the city in 1812 marked the beginning of a new era for the ancient city, which has been selected in 2007 as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
Moreover, according to Al Omoush, the number of tourists to Petra increased by 40% in 2018 in comparison to 2017.
The Conference, which attracted the participation of 37 scholars from 16 Arab and foreign countries, addresses three key themes: the Nabataean trade routes, cultural exchanges, and local traditions.
Over 30 papers will be presented and discussed on the various aspects of Nabataean civilization, including taxes, trade ways, and inscription, sculptures and architectural fragments of the city, as well as the Nabataean rural economy in areas adjacent to Petra.
Moreover, other topics will be discussed, including the Nabataean religion and rituals of the desert in the remote areas of southern Syria, Aramaic Nabataean, the Nabataean school of painted pottery, ceremonies and festivals in the Nabataean community, and others.