The Nabateans inhabited the Negev and Transjordanian desert around the time of Christ. A wealthy and largely peaceful people, they cultivated the desert and traded in spices and frankinsence from Saba, Persia, and India to the Mediterranean. They were among the first Christian converts who built some of the earliest churches in the Negev. All traces of this civilization disappeared for a thousand years until the rediscovery of its capital, Petra, in 1812.The ruined splendour of their temples and cities now draws visitors to Petra and Shivta from all over the world. So much about this ancient civilization remains veiled in mystery, however. Udi Levy provides a fully illustrated description of the Nabateans, their art, history and religion, and the desert agriculture in which they were so skilled. He weaves a fascinating picture of a peace-loving people developing their highly advanced culture in the war-torn region of Palestine. The book guides the reader through the best-preserved ruins and monuments of Petra and the desert cities of the Negev, and gives many practical tips for the visitor.