The Nabataean Kingdom was situated in the north-western Arabian Peninsula. It stretched south along the Red Sea coast into the Hejaz, and as far north as Damascus, which was briefly under Nabataean control. Nabataea was an independent state from the 4th century BC until it was annexed in AD 106 by the Roman Empire, and transformed into the imperial Province of Arabia Petraea. The capital of the kingdom was Petra, which at its peak had 30,000 residents and boasted a theater seating 8,000. Aristocrats and merchants competed to carve monumental tombs into the surrounding pink sandstone cliffs, mixing Egyptian, Greco-Roman and Mesopotamian architecture. Initially, Nabataeans used the coins of trading partners, mostly those of the Ptolemaic Egypt and Phoenician Tyre. Early Nabataean coins are anonymous, overstruck on bronzes of the first three Ptolemies, who ruled Egypt from 303 to 221 BC. These coins are crude imitations of gold staters of Alexander the Great. The first Nabataean ruler to issue coins bearing his name and portrait was Obodas I (96–86 BC). Only a few examples of his silver drachms are known to exist today. Most surviving Nabataean coins date from the reign of Aretas IV Philopatris (9 BC–AD 40), who issued over 50 different types in silver and bronze. Nabataea continued to issue coins until the death of its last king, Rabbel II Soter (70–106 AD). During the Roman rule, Petra continued to issue occasinally autonomous provincial bronze coins.
See also: Jordan
Numista referee for coins of this issuer is pejounet.
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