petra image courtsey: bibleplaces.com
Petra - Jordan, ‘a rose red city half as old as time’.
A ghost city all carved in solid rocks,
It remains a mystery that only in 1812 AD the modern world came to know about the existence of this rock city which housed a great historically important culture.
A place in the
The Dead Sea Scrolls discovered from the eleven caves of Wadi in
discovered between 1947 and 1956; are being scrutinized. It is believed that they are potent enough to make dramatic changes in the whole recorded history of the world.
Architecture and styles,
Historians and archeologists rake their heads to determine the exact time the city was built, there are no written records to prove any and hence they depend upon the style of architecture adopted to calculate the age of the city. The architecture involved in the numerous structures exhibit Greek, Roman and Syrian styles; the local style is considered as good as lost. In an attempt to estimate the period of origin of this culture; historians take pre Hellenic tombs (of Greek origin) as the base as they are the earliest structures found intact; it is estimated that they are not older than 6th century BC.
El Khazneh (the treasury),
The present entrance in to the site is through east through the Musa Wadi (Musa’s Valley); from there a narrow and dark gorge with high standing rocks on both sides called ‘Siq’ leads to the Petra Site. The Siq is of varying width from three to four meters and end before the courtyard of an enchanting structure- the El Khzneh or the treasury. Though it was only a royal tomb the title of treasury it acquired following a local legend. For years robbers found it as a secure hide. People spread rumors as a big urn kept there contained the loot deposited by the robbers. Hearing all these rumors; the Bedouin Arabs went there to secure the loot; they tried to break it by firing bullets; without knowing that it was made of solid rock! The urn still bears the mark of bullet hits.
Early morning or afternoon,
There are altogether 800 individual monuments in this large complex like temples, funerary halls, arched gateways, an elaborate theater, and waterway made of natural split in the granite structures to carry water to the Haji Musa River all carved out of shining sand-stone! The row of invaluable monuments stretch several kilometers, it is advisable to the tourists to select early morning or afternoon to pay visits as they can evade the hot desert time as well as see the cut sand-stones of the structures reflecting the sunrays in multicolor spectrum. The most magnificent structure is the El Khzaneh (the treasury building); with its carved rose sandstone facade standing tall; a sight which has no parallel.
The life that once existed,
Nabataeans the original occupants of the city were followers of Pagan faith who spoke Aramaic (a Semitic language used for divine worship; with 3000 old history in which many original portions of the Bible was written) worshipped Dushara –a male god who was flanked by three female goddesses namely Uzza, Allat and Manah. Along with these gods they worshipped some deified emperors who ruled the land; the whole site is dotted with the statues of these gods. What were their mythologies, how these emperors ruled the land; all are left to the imagination of the viewers as no written versions are available.
Mosses aka Musa Nabi,
Written records are available after the entry of Christianity in to the arena in AD 500; and there are references of an ‘Antioch-10 Bishop of Petra’, in the records of Pope Antonosius 1 of Alexandria. AD 629 -632 was the turn of the Islam to conquer the
It is believed that an earthquake shattered the path of water and the town became arid devoid of the life giving water source. People had to migrate to places for a living leaving
Petra at present,
The Petra Monuments of