Idea #580 – Following Indiana Jones’s step in the antique Petra
Petra is an antique city situated in the South of current Jordan, between Red Sea and Dead Sea, which constitutes the major touristic pole of Jordan. Founded around the end of the VIIIth century BC by Édomites, the city was occupied towards the VIth BC by Nabateans, which made it reach its peak due to its position of crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia, on the road of caravans transporting some incense of Arabia, silk trades of China and some spices of India, a crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia. Fallen into oblivion in the modern time, the site was rediscovered in 1812 by the western world thanks to the Swiss explorer Jean Louis Burckhardt, who had been done as if he was a Muslim on pilgrimage, to convinct the Bedouins who occupied the site and guarded it jealously.
Petra is half built, half sculptured in the rock face, surrounds with mountains riddled with canyons, caves, and gorges. An ingenious hydraulic system allowed the vast human establishment of an essentially dry zone during nabatean times, Roman and Byzantine. It is one of the richest and vastest archeological sites to the world in a dominant landscape of red stoneware. The considerable scale of the architecture of graves and decorated temples, the high religious places, canals, tunnels and remaining dams of diversion which conjugate with a vast network of tanks and reservoirs which kept the seasonal rainwater, and quantity of archaeological remains: copper mines, temples, churches and other public buildings, the fusion of the Hellenistic architectural facades with temple and graves traditional nabatéens cut in the rock, as the Khasneh (the Treasury), the Urn Grave, the Palace Grave Palace, the Corinthian Grave and El Deir (the “monastery”), represents a unique artistic realization and a remarkable architectural ensemble for the first ones centuries BC until our era. The diversity of archaeological remains and architectural monuments since the prehistory until medieval time is an exceptional testimony on civilizations today disappeared, which followed one another on the site. Petra is registered very logically on the UNESCO world heritage list.
Where is it?
Antique Site of Petra, Jordan