Acropolis, Area "C"

Buseirah (Bozrah), Jordan

Buseirah is Old Testament Bozrah, capital of Iron Age Edom in the 7th-6th century BC. In this photo our tour lecturer, Dr. Joe Greene of the Harvard University Semitic Museum, holds court above Area "C" of the Acropolis, a palatial residence. Edom was the southernmost of three Iron Age Kingdoms (Ammon, Moab, and Edom) in Jordan, occupying an area that ran from Wadi Hasa in the north to Wadi Hisma in the south and included the Wadi Araba and Petra. Edom exported copper, and grew rich from the trade in Arabian spices.

According to the Bible, the ancestor of the Edomites was Esau, the brother of Jacob; the Old Testament records that Edom and Israel fought for control of the trade artery running north from the Gulf of Aqaba. Edom was conquered in the mid-6th century by Babylonia, then passed into Persian rule. Persia was in turn conquered by Alexander in the fourth century BC; by 200 BC, the Biblical land of Edom had become the nucleus of the new kingdom of Nabataea.