From Provincia Arabia to Palaestina Tertia: The Impact of Geography, Economy, and Religion on Sedentary and Nomadic Communities in the Later Roman Province of Third Palestine

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University of California, Los Angeles, 2008 - 548 pages
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This dissertation investigates the complex interaction between geography, economy, and religion amongst the sedentary and nomadic populations in the later Roman province of Third Palestine from the fourth to the early seventh centuries C.E. Specifically, it demonstrates that the regions which formed the province of Third Palestine in the fourth century -- the Sinai Peninsula, the Negev desert, and southern Jordan -- acted as a liminal space, situated between the Mediterranean world and the Arabian Peninsula and Red Sea basin. As such, the communities of Third Palestine played an intermediary role between these regions, and the province was inhabited by two different cultural groups, agricultural and nomadic. Extensive trade with the Red Sea and Arabian Peninsula is also demonstrated, as is the evidence of interregional trade within Third Palestine based on evidence from the Nessana Papyri and four types of amphorae (Gaza, Palestinian Bag Jar, Egyptian, and Aila).

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