Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
The ancient city of Petra, in Jordan, is best known for its monumental tombs and religious constructions. Recent excavations, however, are giving us a glimpse into a whole new facet of life at Petra – the complex relationships between humans and animals. In this talk, I discuss human-animal relationships as seen through the animal bones recovered from two areas of excavations at Petra. The first, on Petra’s North Ridge, revealed a complex of Roman-era houses. The second, at the Temple of the Winged Lions, revealed a Nabataean temple complex. In this talk, and drawing on these two data sets, I present a rather traditional look at the animal economy at Petra, and then delve deeper to consider the complexities of a multispecies community in this arid environment. I want to consider not just how humans used animals as economic resources, but also how the lives of humans and animals were intertwined in meaningful ways.