Female Power: Women ‘Were in Control’ in Ancient Nabatean Kingdom, Scientists Believe

© Photo : Youtube/Smithsonian ChannelAl-'Uzza: The idol believed to be Al-'Uzza or the Powerful One
Al-'Uzza: The idol believed to be Al-'Uzza or the Powerful One - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.01.2022
At the beginning of the 19th century, Swiss traveller Johann Ludwig Burckhardt became the first European to see the ruins of the once great ancient city of Petra. In 2007, the site was named one of the “Seven New Wonders of the World”.
Did you know that the fair sex apparently called the shots in a kingdom located in the area of modern-day Jordan in the 5th century BC?
The discovery of unique stone idols at the site of the ancient city of Petra, the political and economic hub of the Nabatean Kingdom, has prompted scientists to suggest that women played an important role in the once flourishing civilisation, the Daily Express reports.
Exploring the artefacts, researchers found that the Nabateans – Arabian nomads from Israel’s Negev Desert – worshipped three female deities, including Allat (Goddess), Al-'Uzza (the Powerful One), and Manat (the Goddess of Fate).

Glenn Corbett of the American Centre for Oriental Research in Jordan, told the newspaper that “the Nabateans themselves who lived in Petra seem to have worshipped in particular the goddess Al-'Uzza, who is simply termed 'the Mightiest'”.

Corbett specifically mentioned “a unique eye idol” that was unearthed by archaeologists at the site of Petra, adding that the “ornately carved” idol was “a striking image of a goddess”.
"Al-'Uzza's great status suggests that Nabatean women, too, were important in this society. Certainly, they had far greater rights and freedoms than the women of Europe or the Roman world”, Corbett argued, claiming that "for a time, women were in control here [in Petra]”.
Nothing lasts forever, though, and purported female power in Petra came to an end after the Romans captured the city in 106 AD. 250 years later, a devastating earthquake obliterated the formerly prosperous metropolis, with the site ultimately becoming a must-see for tourists and archaeologists.
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