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I took a tourism that left indigenous Tel Aviv. After ~ a seven-hour drive, we quit at this viewpoint in Jordan over looking the valley where Petra is located. Even from this vantage point, the desert is stunning.

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Our overview was a Jordanian male named Nizar Alhasani. Alhasani studied global relations at the university of Wisconsin and also in Chicago. He told united state that he'd invested some time advising the us military during the war in Iraq, yet gave that up for tourism guiding after ~ his car hit an IED.


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When you arrive at Petra, you are surrounded through shops offering the normal trinkets. Up till 1985, as soon as Petra was named a UNESCO human being Heritage site, the Bdoul Bedouin tribe stayed in caves inside the city. The Jordanian federal government struck a deal with the Bdoul, Alhasani said, that allowed them exclusive legal rights to travel businesses in Petra so long as they moved to a settlement a couple of miles from the site.


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To start, girlfriend walk under this open up road for around a mile. Two thousand years ago, as soon as the Nabatean realm was in ~ its peak, Petra to be the profession terminus for the old Near East. One can imagine camel caravans traveling down this road to the enntrance gate of the city, laden through spices and other priceless goods.


One the the main businesses run by the Bdoul is horseback and carriage rides come the key sites in Petra. However you have to be careful, Alhasani said: The Bdoul try all species of top to separate tourists from your money. Among the an ext popular grifts is come tell girlfriend the horseback ride is totally free and consisted of in your ticket. At the finish of the ride, they will tell girlfriend tips are not included and demand $50 or more.


The simplest method to stop the grifts is a for sure "No, give thanks to you." us opted come walk, but, throughout the day, it's scorching hot. Several of the civilization in our tour team opted come buy a kaffiyeh, a traditional Middle east headdress. As soon as I saw exactly how it retained the sweat from their faces, i was wishing I had bought one.


While it's not known specifically when Petra was built, most think the area chin was an initial inhabited approximately 10,000 year ago. The site truly started to prosper around 100 B.C.E as soon as the Nabatean Empire became a trade hub. Together you walk towards the facility of the city, the "Bab Al Siq," or gateway road, is flanked by tombs.


Along the Bab Al Siq space three substantial "Djinn" blocks, which room square monuments carved out of hard sandstone. Tiny is known about why they exist.


The next structure along the roadway is the pillar Tomb. Over there are 4 pyramids above the tomb as well as statues that stand for the five people buried there.


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The bottom floor the the tomb is a banquet hall, as soon as a year the family members of the deceased involved hold a feast to respect the dead and clean the tomb, Alhasani explained.


As we got to the bottom the a sloping path, Alhasani quit the group. He described that years ago, tourists provided to obtain hurt by speed floods as soon as it rained in ~ Petra.


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As the Jordanian federal government searched because that a solution, excavators discovered this 300-foot tunnel reduced into the rock. Constructed by the Nabataeans, the tunnel diverts flash flood water come two large cisterns that gave water come the city.


This road into the rock valley is whereby Petra begins. Dubbed the Siq, the roadway is the ancient entrance come Petra. The is make of a break-up rock a small over fifty percent a mile long. Many of the rock split is a herbal formation and reaches up to 250 feet in height.


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The imagery is a mélange the the Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, Roman, and also Mesopotamian societies that passed v Petra by trade. There are also sculptures that elephants, which some require to be proof of the city"s link to India.

Source: Lonely Planet


This damaged carved sculpture depicts a trader, as evidenced by the hooves of the camel that stands next to him.


You need to stay alert once walking under the Siq. In ~ some parts it is less than 10 feet wide. The Bedouins frequently barrel v on equine carriages delivering tourists. They won't avoid or relocate out of the way for you.


While most of the Siq is a organic rock formation, some components were sculptured by the Nabataeans. But, in general, the Siq was kept narrow to save out invading armies.


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The high walls around Petra, the surrounding mountains, and the winding alleyways of the Siq all offered as a natural defenses because that those looking come raid the city. In plenty of places, the Siq is only wide enough for 2 camels at a time.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine


The surname Petra comes from the Greek word for rock. In Arabic, however, Petra is referred to as "al-madina al ward ah," which means rose-colored city. Slightly more poetic.


At that is peak, Petra was house to around 30,000 people, by some estimates. The city was maintained thanks to an outstanding water management system the used comprehensive network the dams, cisterns, reservoirs, and also aqueducts. Water was finally pumped come the city in clay pipes v the Siq come the rest of the city.


The moment when you with the finish of the Siq is much more magnificent than have the right to be expressed in words. One needs to imagine world-weary traders in ~ the finish of a long journey, spotting the intricately sculpted rose stone facade and knowing they'd reached a great civilization.


Al Khazna, or the Treasury, is the very first structure you view upon entering the city. At 150 feet tall and also around 100 feet wide, the is the masterpiece that Petra. Archaeologists are split on the objective of Al Khazna.


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Many think it to be the tomb of crucial Nabatean king, if some believe it to be a holy place or a place to store documents.

Source: VisitJordan, VisitPetra


The Treasury is a stunning sight to behold. Archaeologists know that was among the later on structures developed in Petra as result of the frame about the carving i m sorry is lacking in several of the enlarge structures.


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The frame is thought to have been presented by the roman inn Empire, which annexed the Nabataean empire in 63 B.C.E. The Nabateans remained an independent client state that Rome up until the finish of the an initial century C.E.

Source: Brown University


Petra prospered under Roman preeminence up until an earthquake in 363 C.E. Decimated the city. The went unentered through outsiders for virtually 600 years. Only local Bedouin tribes knew of its presence until Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt heard locals talking about the city if in Cairo.


Annie Zheng

In 1812, the disguised himself together an Arab scholar and also convinced a overview to take it him to the dig of Haroun (the Arab name of Aaron, the biblical prophet), which the knew come be near the valley. Together suspected, the overview took him with Petra.


From the Treasury, a route left opens out into the remainder of the city. Local Bedouin tribes had tried for centuries come hide Petra's existence as they feared treasure hunters would certainly raid the city.


One the the most impressive structures in the key city is the amphitheater. Developed during the peak of the Nabatean empire, the theater can seat 8,500 people. When it was an initial built, it organized 3,000 people and was primarily used because that political functions. Later on on, Romans broadened it and introduced the idea of utilizing it because that entertainment.


Outside the Siq and the Treasury is what is dubbed the "Street the Facades." ~ above both sides of the area are a swarm of tombs with crow-stepped attics. Some excavators believe these burial places held an elderly officials or princes.

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Along the means there are some tombs that you can actually go in. The area is thought to it is in the oldest funeral ground in Petra.