The Nabataeans, an Arab people, made Petra their capital in 6th century BC taking advantage of the ease of defense and favorable commercial exchanges with the East.
The Ancient Pink city of Petra. Enjoy the journey
As you enter the outskirts of Petra, you know that you have entered a different world
Ancient tombs on the entry of Petra
The Obelisk Tomb is located outside the city before the entrance of the Siq. It is named after the four obelisks sculpted in the rock hewn facade.
This is the entrance to the "Siq" , the two meter (1.5 mile) tectonic crack in the mountain that leads to the lost city of Petra. Ceremonial guards are always on duty.
Note the street pavers from 500 BC
The cuts in the side of the rock is for a fresh water system that the Arab Nabataeans built to provide water to the city
The water system is quite amazing
There were filter basins every few hundred feet to extract sediment
This is a remaining piece of the fresh water clay pipes that ran the length of the Siq
The Siq goes on for 1.5 miles and is simply gorgeous
in the 1980's archeologists dug down another 10 feet in the Siq and found the street pavers and this carving of a camel and camel driver
As you continue walking....
Suddenly the iconic "Treasury building" comes into view
and it continues to unfold.....
Until you see this magnificent building
Those little squares are ancient scaffolding holders
Although it is called "the treasury" it is believed to be a tomb
these are bullet holes as somewhere along the line people thought there was gold behind the facade (thus "treasury")
The de rigueur camel shot.
Note to self: never wear black mesh shoes in the desert
Hundreds of Bedouins lived in these caves through the 1980's The ate, slept, had babies in these caves
the commoner's tombs/homes
The colors of the rock formations are breathtaking
You just shake your head in wonderment at how gorgeous nature can can be
Slivers of color--this is the only place in the world with these types of rock formation.
Love this shot! Note the amphitheater to the right
The Theater. The rule of thumb was to have seats for 10% of the population
This is how they think the theater looked 2000 years ago
Is this a handsome boy or what?
When you get tired, this fellow starts looking pretty good :-)
I LOVE this picture. Looks a bit like the desert Southwest in the US
Petra condos circa 600 BC
The Bedouins took over Petra centuries ago. They lived in these caves through the 1980's
The handsome Bedouin guys all look like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean.
This young man was gorgeous! If I were 20 years younger, I would have bought the entire shop from him. He was born in one of the Petra caves and had a New Zealand accent--so handsome a young girl could faint. His (New Zealand) mother wrote the book "I married a Bedouin"
As it was, I bought a $100 silver necklace created to mimic the center of this ancient Petra stone. Prices for everything are identical to the US in Jordan.
Home sweet tomb. A nap on a beautiful afternoon
This tomb is called the "Silk Tomb" because of its gorgeous colors
Louise and I by the Urn Tomb. Below and behind us is the The Colonnaded Street
The Nabataenans carved the tombs in the mountain walls from the top down. This is an unfinished tomb or building from 600 BC.
The Great Temenos Gate as envisioned by archeologists
The "Castle of the Pharaoh's daughter See the next picture for an idea of what it looked like 2000 years ago
The "Castle of the Pharaoh's daughter as it probably looked 2000 years ago
Colonnaded Street. Note the "camel" at the top of the mountain
This is what Colonnaded Street looked like in 500 BC (note the camel)
Even random ruins are gorgeous
Detail of Colonnaded Street.
As I left in the late afternoon, everyone was gone...
The light is gorgeous. It is hard to stop taking pictures, but I must....
.... it slipped from view as I walked backwards through the Siq
I had to take just one more shot.
The Ancient Pink city of Petra.
Here is a map of Petra. See the "Siq" in the lower right opening to the "Treasury of the Paraoh" You can see how easy it was to defend.