Nabatean Bronze Sculpture of a Camel

SKU PF.5264

300 BC to 100 AD


3.25″ (8.3cm) high x 1.75″ (4.4cm) wide




Petra, Jordan

Gallery Location



Once having lived east and southeast of Palestine, the Nabateans were an ancient Arabic people who maintained their independence from 312 B.C. to 106 A.D., at which time they finally submitted to Roman rule. This very charming camel comes from the beautiful city of Petra in Southwest Jordan. Though the animal itself was, and of course still is, prolific in the Middle East; depictions of it in ancient art are rare. Resting on an oblong base, with legs folded comfortably underneath, this camel in repose is simple in form and quite realistic. It may have been designed as a lid; and yet the textured bottom suggests a more practical function, perhaps used for sanding rough surfaces. It is particularly delightful to see represented an animal that was so important to a people–in this case one that assisted the fiercely independent Nabatean people in maintaining their freedom for so many centuries.

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