The dissertation project examined the tomb architecture of Petra, capital of the Nabataean Kingdom, and the cultural and historical conditions of its formation. Based on the results of recent years’ research, the study focused on the tombs as complex architectural structures, bearing witness to the economic rise of Petra as well as to the cultural impact of its manifold economic relations. The archaeological sources, Nabataean inscriptions and particularly Roman written records suggest a similar ritual background of the Petraean tombs to structures of the wider Mediterranean area and thus provided a basis for a comparative approach to the topic.
The multifunctional funeral complexes of the Nabataeans are very similar to the luxurious architecture by the Greco-Roman upper class. It is very likely they were used by large families (clans) and had similar functions as the Greco-Roman scholae.