What Ancient Civilization Lived in Jordan?

Jordan, a country situated in the Middle East, is one of the most historically and culturally rich countries in the world. The region has been inhabited by various civilizations over time, each leaving behind their unique marks and contributions to the world. One of the most prominent ancient civilizations that lived in Jordan was the Nabataean civilization.

The Nabataean Civilization

The Nabataean civilization existed from around 312 BC to AD 106. The civilization was primarily known for its excellence in trading, agriculture, and architecture.

The Nabataean people were nomads who lived in tents and moved around to different regions for trade purposes. However, they eventually established a permanent settlement in Petra, which became their capital city.

Geographical Location

Petra, located in present-day Jordan, was an essential hub for trade routes that connected Asia with Europe and Africa. As a result of its strategic location, Petra became a wealthy trading center that attracted merchants from all over the world.


The Nabataean people were renowned for their architectural skills and built several impressive structures in Petra. One of their most famous creations is Al-Khazneh or “the Treasury,” which is carved into a sandstone cliff-face in Petra’s entrance. It is believed that the structure was initially built as a tomb for King Aretas IV during the first century AD.


The Nabataeans also had a significant impact on trading activities at that time. They traded spices, precious stones, textiles, incense, and other valuable goods from all over the world. They also developed an elaborate water system using dams and channels to support agriculture as well as provide water for drinking purposes.


In conclusion, the Nabataean civilization played an essential role in shaping Jordan’s history and culture. Their impressive architectural feats, trading expertise, and agricultural systems continue to inspire people worldwide. Visiting Petra is the best way to get an up-close look at the Nabataean civilization’s legacy and learn more about their way of life.