al-Khazneh (The Treasury)

Al Khazneh was originally built as a mausoleum and crypt at the beginning of the 1st century CE during the reign of Aretas IV Philopatris. Its Arabic name Treasury derives from one legend that bandits or pirates hid their loot in a stone urn high on the second level. According to Areta another legend is that it functioned as a treasury of the Egyptian Pharaoh at the time of Moses (Khaznet Far'oun).


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circa 100 CE

The facade of al-Khazneh (the Treasury) at Petra. The Treasury’s façade (24.9 meters wide x 38.77 meters high) most clearly embodies the Hellenistic style and reflects the influence of Alexandria, the greatest city in the Eastern Mediterranean at this time. There are no inscriptions or ceramic evidence associated with the tomb that allows us to directly date it.

circa 100 CE

Relief sculpture and acroteria (detail), the sculptural decoration also underscores a connection to the Hellenistic world. On the upper level, Amazons (bare-breasted) and Victories stand, flanking a central female figure (on the tholos), who is probably Isis-Tyche, a combination of the Egyptian Goddess, Isis, and Tyche, the Greek Goddess of good fortune.

circa 100 CE

Details of the facade

circa 100 CE

Interior of the central chamber of the Treasury. The central chamber has three interior portals that lead to the antechambers as seen in the floor plan below.

circa 100 CE

The floor plan of al-Khazneh. The front porche is flanked by two portals that lead in to two chambers. The main entrance leads in to the central chamber that again has three interal portals that lead in to antechambers.

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