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September 1995

Petra, Jordan


     Petra is most famous to Americans as the temple in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" which happens to be my favorite Indy movie. It's a gorgeous site.  Below are too many photos; but Scott snapped a lot  and they all seemed unique and good, so most of them are online. Petra was first established around the 6th century BC, by the Nabataean Arabs, a nomadic tribe who settled in the area and laid the foundations of a commercial empire that extended into Syria. The city is surrounded by hills of sandstone which gave the city natural protection against invaders. The sandstone made it easy to carve into the mountainside.  You enter Petra via the Siq, which is a trail that goes into a small area between two rock faces which comes out into the city of Petra.  The Siq is lined with clay pipes which carried water to the city. The Siq narrows to about 5 meters but the walls are hundreds of meters high. The original path was paved, but now it's sand (under the sand the remains survive). Once the Siq ends, you immediately see the Temple-like structure as seen in the Indiana Jones movie... it's is called Khazneh.  That is 40 meters high and was actually the Treasury of Petra. Around the Khazneh, are carved out small caves (shallow) which were used as tombs. Further down is an Amphitheatre and more tombs carved into the mountain. Eventually you get to the City Center and the Qasr al-Bint Firaun ("The Castle of Pharaoh's Daughter").  Beyond the Qasr,  and the Royal tombs.

     Up to 30,000 people may have lived in Petra during the 1st century A.D. Petra was once believed to be a city of the Dead (but not so). An earthquake in 363 A.D. destroyed at least half of the city. Petra never recovered from the massive quake.

    This is almost all the photos Scott took.  There's 5 more not online. Bring a lot of water and good walking shoes here and a lot more film than Scott did.  There's a LOT more images you could take! 


Left to right: 1) the Siq 2) The Khazneh 3) The Khazneh again 4) Qasr al-Bint Firaun ("The Castle of Pharaoh's Daughter"),  5) Scott on a mule


Left to right: 1) Qasr al-Bint Firaun ("The Castle of Pharaoh's Daughter") 2) Urn Tomb 3) Urn Tomb Closer View 4) Column Ruins of Wealthy homes on the paved Roman Street 5) Same paved street with Arch ruins (to either Palace or Center of City)


Left to right: 1) Paved Street 2) The Siq (see Aqueducts carved on the side of the cliff) 3) The Siq 4) Facades with surface carvings (nothing hollowed out) 5) Tombs of the less rich.


Left to right: 1) Amphitheatre Entrance 2) Amphitheatre Entrance Close View 3) Inside the Treasury (Khazneh) 4) Treasury Columns close up 5)  Inside Amphitheatre


Left to right: 1) Unknown image (possibly tombs outside Petra just before Siq) 2) Housing (left of photo) and overview 3)Treasury Door Arch/Window 4) Qasr El-Bint 5) Water run off made this natural formation that looks like a cave 5)

Sites you might like to visit:

Petra; the Lost City

Petra: The Great Temple Excavation

Bible Places

Sacred Destinations Travel Guide

Visit Jordan

King's Highway

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