Universiteit Leiden

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The oasis of Tayma, Northwest Arabia |€“ 6000 years of cultural contacts and exchange

  • Arnulf Hausleiter
15 december 2016
Witte Singel 26-27
2311 BG Leiden
Vossius room

Tayma was an important trading post on the trade routes leading from Southern Arabia to Syro-Mesopotamia and the Levant. Occupied since the 4th millennium BC, it was during the last part of the 1st millennium BC that Tayma interacted with neighbouring oases. This period also saw the its occupation by the Babylonian monarch Nabonidus, before it became part of the Nabataean sphere and was probably also under Roman-Byzantine influence. The city played an important role in the expansion of Islam towards the Levant as well. The Saudi-German excavation of the oasis has shed unprecedented light on the cosmopolitan history of Tayma, and its importance for the history of pre-Islamic Arabia.