Petra was the major centre for the Nabataean civilization which ruled the Jordan area (ie: the capital).
It is thought the Nabataean started off as nomadic pastoralists wandering the Negev Desert & Sinai Peninsula around the 4th Century BC.
Over the years, Petra expanded into a major trading town as it was located at the centre of several routes.
Here’s a map detailing the extent of the empire:
The Nabataean empire was eventually “assimilated” with the Roman Empire in the 1st Century BC. It became a client kingdom once it paid homage to Rome.
Most people know Petra from images of the Treasury building:
You might recognise this building from the final scenes “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.
To get to the Treasury, you have to walk about 1.5km through the Siq (a narrow gorge). The sights & feel as you walk through are amazing. Then you see the Treasury at the end of the Siq.
It’s very much a wow moment !!
I didn’t realise just how big the complex was – here’s a map of the extent of the complex:
We walked for about 5½ hrs up & back to the museum. The guys in the group spent an extra 2hrs walking up around the sacrificial alter & Roman Soldier’s tomb.
I hope the photos do it some justice.
|The Obelisk Tomb|
|Walking through the Siq|
|The water system leading into Petra|
|It's a dog's life indeed !!|
|The stairs leading up to the Sacrificial Alter|
|The Corinthian Palace|
|The Grand Temple|
|Caught in a dust storm|
|Helen & the kids in a carriage ride back to the visitor centre|
|There was this horse practicing a bit of "downward dog" yoga|