Tuesday, 10 July 2018
Travel Tuesday: Nabatean Funerary Stelae
A couple of weeks ago I visited Málaga in the south of Spain. Besides a couple of castles, which I blogged about here, I also saw the Ifergan Gallery, an interesting private collection of ancient art. Among the collection were these Nabatean Funerary Stelae.
The Nabatean civilization thrived from the 4th century BC until it was absorbed into the Roman Empire by Trajan in 106 AD. They lived in the Levant and Arabian Peninsula and controlled the trade routes connecting the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, and Mediterranean. Remains of several of their cities can still be found in the deserts, including the famous site of Petra in Jordan.
One feature of their art was these enigmatic stone faces. They were placed on tombs and bore the names of the deceased. Similar stones were used to depict the gods in temples, although they tended to have more realistic features.