Tubuli and their Use in Roman Arabia, with a Focus on Humayma (Ancient Hauarra)




Harvey, Craig Andrew

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis examines the tubulus, a ceramic heating pipe developed by the Romans to create wall cavities through which hot air could circulate. An extension of the hypocaust system, tubuli systems were one of the most advanced heating systems used in antiquity, and were employed throughout the Roman Empire. This thesis focuses on the tubuli from Roman Arabia and particularly those from the site of Humayma, in modern Jordan, where a large corpus of this material has been found. This thesis represents the first study specifically on tubuli in Roman Arabia, and as such, it presents an initial examination of the material and lays the foundation for future studies on the topic. The first chapter of this thesis introduces tubuli, the region of Roman Arabia, and the history of baths in Roman Arabia. In the second chapter, tubuli and their use at Humayma are discussed in detail, and a chronological tubulus typology is presented. The Humayma tubuli are put into their regional context in the third chapter, which looks at tubuli found at sites throughout Roman Arabia. This final chapter also examines the regional trade and reuse of this material. Although this study only scratches the surface of this topic, it is able to reach several conclusions regarding tubuli and their use in Roman Arabia. These findings include revelations about the Nabataeans’ adoption and adaption of the tubulus before the Roman annexation of their territory and insights into the production and trade of this previously poorly understood material.



Roman archaeology, Jordan, tubuli, ceramic building material, nabataeans, Humayma, tubulus, jordanian archaeology, Roman arabia, box-flues, hypocaust