The Water Engineering and Irrigation System of the Nabataeans

Author: Zeidoun al-Muheisen
Publisher: Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology 
2009, 200 pp. 

The book, sponsored by the Jordanian Ministry of Culture, consists of five chapters, each dealing with a specific aspect of the Nabataean water irrigation system which is admired to this day for its ingenuity and effectiveness. The first chapter touches on the geographical and climatic background of the area. It presents information on the Petra water supply, the spring-water networks and rainwater harvesting in Petra and its vicinity. The second discusses the hydraulic installations at other Nabataean sites in southern Jordan, such as at-Tafileh and Wadi Araba. The third chapter explains the technical features of Nabataean hydraulic and agricultural installations, such as drainage techniques and canal use. Comparative examples from sites in and near Petra are given in the fourth chapter, including al-Naqab, Umm al-Jimal, Qumran and others. The final chapter throws light on the relevance and importance of Nabataean hydrological techniques in modern times.