Exploring Quality of Life at Petra Through Paleopathology
The ancient city of Petra, Jordan was home to the capital of the Nabataean kingdom from approximately the 3rd or 2nd century B.C. to 106 A.D. During the 1st century B.C. and A.D, Petra prospered as an urban trade center as evident by its massive rock-cut architecture. Although archaeological work at the site has been ongoing since the early 1900s, much of this work has focused on Petra's architecture leaving much to be discovered about people's daily lives, particularly, the lives of the non-elites. This research project aims to uncover the health of a group of non-elites buried along Petra's North Ridge using paleopathology. First excavated in 1994, the North Ridge contains churches, domestic structures, and shaft tombs dated from the 1st-4th century A.D. In 2012 Megan Perry and S. Thomas Parker excavated three 1st century A.D. shaft tombs, two of which contained a minimum number of 28 individuals. During this study, a thorough inventory and pathological analysis was conducted on these remains. Afterwards, the pathology data collected from these 28 individuals was combined with data from previous studies on the North Ridge to bring the sample size up to 64 skeletons. These results were then compared statistically to other contemporaneous samples from varying settlement types using chi-square tests. The North Ridge remains were found to contain a surprisingly low level of chronic diseases and malnutrition in comparison to other urban samples. This may indicate that Petra's inhabitants experienced better nutrition and sanitation than previously associated with most ancient cities. However, the results of this study are preliminary and require further study, particularly, improved paleodemographic research, before they can be confirmed.
Canipe, Courtney. (January 2014). Exploring Quality of Life at Petra Through Paleopathology (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/4519.)
Canipe, Courtney. Exploring Quality of Life at Petra Through Paleopathology. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, January 2014. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/4519. April 22, 2019.
Canipe, Courtney, “Exploring Quality of Life at Petra Through Paleopathology” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, January 2014).
Canipe, Courtney. Exploring Quality of Life at Petra Through Paleopathology [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; January 2014.
East Carolina University