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Wadi Rum became a Nabataean outpost on the trading route between Saudi Arabia and Petra in the last century BC. Remains of several Nabataean constructions (including shrines, reservoirs and dams) have been uncovered. At the foot of Jabal Rum, in walking distance from the modern Rum Village, are the ruins of a Nabataean temple, adjoining palatial residence and luxury bath complex.
About 50 m northeast are the remains of a Nabataean residence with more than 28 interrelated structures, including a Roman-style bathing suite. Constructed during the last phase of the temple, this Eastern Complex is believed to have been a palatial residence of a religious dignitary. Certain areas were probably designed for public use. The core of the villa consisted of two rectangular units, two courtyards, and a lobby area at the main entrance. The building used to be richly decorated with polychromed molded plaster.
Remarkable is the existence of a bathing facility incorporating the latest trends in Roman thermal technology of the time. It included an apodyterium (changing room), tepidarium (warm room), and caldarium (hot room) heated through a hypocaust, a furnace below the floor. The walls were covered with hollow tiles (box-flues) to allow the hot air to heat them as well. At the end, the bathers could fully immerse themselves in a basin of cold water in the frigidarium. The material quality and craftsmanship with which the whole suite was constructed is exemplified by a room with circular interior that still can be seen, probably an unctorium (a room to get anointed.) As Dennine Dudle and M. Barbara Reeves point out, the Eastern Complex at Wadi Rum reveals the "luxurious conditions that could flourish in Jordan's desert during the last century of the Nabataean kingdom." 
1. Dennine Dudle and M. Barbara Reeves: Luxury in the desert: A Nabataean palatial residence at Wadi Ramm. Published in "Crossing Jordan - North American Contributions to the Archaeology of Jordan," 2007
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