Petra (The City Proper)

Known as Rekem in ancient times, it was established possibly as early as 312 BCE as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it lies on the slope of Jebel al-Madhbah (identified by some as the biblical Mount Hor) in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra was home to roughly 30,000 people and was abandoned in the year 106 CE because of reasons unknown. The city proper had a siq, walls, towers, water conduits, and cisterns. In ancient times, Petra might have been approached from the south on a track leading across the plain of Petra, around Jabal Haroun ("Aaron's Mountain"), where the Tomb of Aaron, said to be the burial-place of Aaron, brother of Moses, is located. It was also an important stop along the Incense Route.

Date Landscape Notes Reference
c. 100 CE Great Temple of Petra The remains of the Great Temple of Petra represents one of the major archaeological and architectural components of central Petra. One of the largest Nabatean complexes in Petra, the Great Temple is a two-level structure dating from the 1st century BC. N/A
c. 200 CE The remains of colonnade street in city proper, Petra, looking towards the arched gate. It leads from main theater to the Qasr al Bint, the ancient shops that once flanked this avenue are gone or are in ruins. Qasr al-Bint is also visible in the background. It follows the standard Roman pattern of an east–west decumanus, but without the normal cardo maximus (north–south axis). Petra National Trust
c. 100 BCE Temple of the WInged Lions, Petra The Temple of Winged Lions is a Nabataean religious building situated prominently on the north slope of the Wadi Musa (Moses’ Valley), overlooking the ancient city center of Petra. N/A
c. 100 CE Nymphaeum (Roman water fountain) at Petra The remains of the Nymphaeum, it was a grand public fountain along Petra's Colonnaded Street. Only the foundations remain today, standing in the shade of a tree. It was situated at the confluence of two watercourses, dedicated to the water nymphs and was probably one of the improvements made to the city after the Roman annexation. Wikipedia
c. 100 BCE Qasr al-Bint, the Palace of the Pharaoh's Daughter at Petra View of Qasr al-Bint (The Castle of the Daughter of Pharaoh), looking south across the altar to the porch of the temple. The temple's cella is located behind the central arch. This relates to a local legend involving the pharaoh of the Exodus who, as the tale is told, got tired of pursuing the Israelites and eventually settled with his court here in Petra. Wikipedia
c. 500 CE Blue Chapel, Petra The remains of the Blue Chapel, so named after its four blue Egyptian granite columns, topped with Nabataean horned capitals, that collapsed in an 8th-century earthquake but have been re-erected. Wikipedia
c. 500 CE Petra Theater Petra Theater (Arabic: مسرح البتراء) is a first century AD Nabataean theatre situated 600 m from the centre of Petra. Substantial part of the theater was carved out of solid rock, while the scaena and exterior wall were constructed. Although Roman in design, being carved out opposed to being built is characteristically distinctive Nabataean.
c. 500 CE Siq The Siq (Arabic: السيق‎, transliterated al-Sīq, transcribed as-Sīq,[a] literally 'the Shaft') is the main entrance to the ancient Nabatean city of Petra in southern Jordan. The Siq was used as the grand caravan entrance into Petra. Along the Siq are some underground chambers, the function of which has not yet been clarified.
c. 500 CE Dorotheos' House A complex of ruined houses, rather than just one, this set of ruins earned its name as Dorotheos' House from the Greek inscription on the triclinium. The triclinium, a vast building intended for feasting, is easily identified by the three doors and windows.
c. 500 CE Petra Church The Petra Church is a Byzantine church in the ancient city of Petra, located a few hundred meters off the colonnaded street near the Temple of the Winged Lions. When first constructed around 450, the church had only one apse and an entrance porch. The Mosaic of the Seasons in the southern aisle is from this period. The site was excavated in 1992-98 by the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR).
c. 500 CE Temenos Gate Temenos Gate
Latest Update: May 17, 2017


Points of InterestPart of
CityTheatre · Colonnade Street · Nymphaeum · Temenos Gate · Um al-Biyara · Lion Monument · Dam · Columbrium · Um al-Biyara
Monastery/TempleGreat Temple · Temple of Winged Lions · Blue Chapel · Temple of Winged Lions · Qasr al-Bint · Blue Chapel · High Place of Sacrifice · ad-Deir Monastery
Fortifications al-Habis Fortress
Tombsal-Khazneh · Obelisk Tomb · Street of Facades · Urn Tomb · Silk Tomb · Corinthian Tomb · Palace Tomb · Sextus Florentinus Tomb · Turkamaniya Tomb · Roman Soldier's Tomb · Garden Temple Complex · Lion Monument · Lion Triclinium Tombs in Petra
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