The final two cities described in this book – Petra and Palmyra – were the two cities most influenced by local cultures. Petra was founded by a formerly nomadic Arab people, the Nabataeans, who at the turn of the first millennium CE developed a monumental civic center influenced by Greco-Roman ideals. When the kingdom of the Nabataeans was annexed by the Romans in 106 CE, the downtown was transformed as a symbol of municipal government and not ruled by a king. Palmyra was dominated by merchant families who traversed the entire Middle East and beyond. The original town was not planned, but after the visit of the emperor Hadrian, the city developed, and an entirely new section of the city was designed on a grid pattern. A colonnaded street was laid out to connect the previously built Temples of Allat and Bel. A problem with this configuration was that other buildings previously existed which prevented a straight cardo. Two bends were required to construct the street, which had to be disguised with an oval plaza and a monumental arch. The southern half of the city of Palmyra was destroyed after revolting from Roman control, and settlement contracted to the new section of the city, which was garrisoned by Roman troops. Several churches are known from the city. In Petra, the 363 earthquake tremendously damaged the city, leaving its civic center in ruins. Although three churches are known from the city in late antiquity, it appears to have been abandoned by the Muslim conquest.