South of the Zered Valley the mountains of Edom extend to Aqaba, some of them reaching elevations of 4,500 feet. Along the western crest of this ridge there is sufficient rainfall for growing wheat and barley, but at lower elevations the amount of rainfall decreases rapidly.
In biblical times one of the names for the region was Mount Seir, “The Hairy One,” probably because of the scrub forests that covered the mountains. Again, hard limestone and chalk dominate the surface of the landscape, but because the steep western slopes, composed of Nubian sandstone, have a red appearance in the late afternoon sun, the name “Edom” (Heb. for “red”) is appropriate for this area.
The most famous city of this remote region is Petra, capital city of the Nabateans (ca. 200 BC to AD 200), the people who eventually replaced the Old Testament Edomites.