Idea #579 – Following the path of the Pilgrims of the High-Place of the Sacrifice to Petra’s Treasury
There are several “high-places” in Petra, which are open-air sacrificial sites, dominating the antique city. The one which dominates the city of Pétra of 200 meters since the summit of Djebel Madhbah is doubtless the most spectacular. We reach it by an antique staircase cut straight from the cliff which soars halfway Khazneh and halfway ancient theater. In spite of the difficulty of the path, animals to be sacrificed borrowed the same way. In the outlet of the path, a first esplanade where raise themselves two obelisks, tops from 6 to 7 meters, inspired by the antique betyles, cut in the rock primitive and symbolizing maybe Dushârâ and al Uzza. The one two bears the Arabic name of Zibb Atuf el Firaun. The second esplanade, the harâm, is a big rectangular court of 14 meters on 6 meters, which possesses seats sculptured around, as in any triclinium. At the bottom, towards the center, a stony cube, preceded by a small staircase constitutes a “motab” on which we placed the betyle in a small superior cavity. In the left hand, you can perceive the second altar dug by a basin to collect the blood of the sacrifices which passes by towards a trough of rectangular shape. No inscription allows to assert which divinity was adored in this place, doubtless Dushârâ. Near the site, a tank offered the possibility of performing ritual ablutions before and after the sacrifices. The whole takes place in the middle of the vestiges of a later crusader citadel, ruins of which are scattered on the whole plateau.
On the return path return, you can come down again by a route of pilgrimage, cut in the rock, and punctuated with fountains, temples, graves, and tanks. By pushing a little, you can join a path which leads on the opposite heights of Siq. On arrival, a big surprise at your arrival : a view on Petra’s Treasury !
Where is it?
High Place of Sacrifice, Petra, Jordan