Tuesday, 19th June 2018
19 June 2018
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Petra Jordan

Petra Jordan

Petra is a prehistoric city situated in Jordan. It was lost for 100 of years. The city sat empty and in near ruin for centuries. Only in the early 1800s did a European traveler disguise himself in Bedouin costume and infiltrate the mysterious locale. This Nabataean caravan-city, situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, was an important crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia. Petra is half-built, half-carved into the rock, and is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges.

The Nabataean empire included parts of Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia. And the seat of the kingdom was Petra, a city that the Nabataeans literally carved by hand from the rose-red cliffs of what is now southern Jordan. Hence it was also called the rode red city because most of the buildings were made of red stone.

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It was a major caravan centre for the incense of Arabia, the silks of China and the spices of India, a crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia.   It is one of the world’s richest and largest archaeological sites set in a dominating red sandstone landscape. Its people, the Nabataeans, harnessed precious water, enabling the population to soar to perhaps 20,000.

The Nabataeans also erected monumental tombs, memorializing their kings and leaders. But over time political control changed, and so did trade routes. Eventually the city fell silent, forgotten by the outside world. The Nabateans were nomadic Arabs who benefited from the proximity of Petra to the regional trade routes, in becoming a major trading hub, thus enabling them to gather wealth. The Nabateans are also known for their great ability in constructing efficient water collecting methods in the barren deserts and their talent in carving structures into solid rocks.

Petra was named amongst the New7Wonders of the World in 2007 and was also chosen by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the “28 Places to See Before You Die”.

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