The extraordinary ancient city of Petra is found in Jordan and is listed as a World Heritage cultural site by UNESCO from 1985. Petra is found in Jordan, a country in the Middle East, between the Red sea and the Dead Sea. The city was established in 6th century BC by the Nabataeans (or Nabateans), who were a simplistic tribe of nomad camel-drivers. Petra means ‘rock’ in local language and is one of the ‘New Sevens Wonders of the world’.
The city of Petra was inhabited by the early Arab people, Nabataeans, and it is speculated that Petra may have been one of the first permanent settlements use by nomads. The Nabataens were responsible for constructing their kingdom from around 6th century BC until it was eventually over run by the Roman Empire 106 AD and the Romans continued to expand the city. After Saladin’s conquest in 1189, Petra was abandoned and memory was lost until a Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt rediscovered Petra in 1812.
Petra is made entirely from sandstone which has many elaborate shades and colours including pinks, yellows, oranges and deep reds. The majority of the city is carved into the magnificent sandstone cliffs with the remainder being cut and stacked to blocks of sandstone to construct detailed architecture.
The first sandstone architecture, The Djinn Blocks, can be seen when approaching Petra. The Djinn blocks (also known as the god blocks) are scattered near the entrance of the city. The Djinn blocks are enormous blocks of sandstone with light carvings. The purpose of these blocks is unknown but they are believed to be associated with water because they are dotted around Petra, always close to the water course.
The Siq is a narrow gorge stretching over 1 kilometre and has cliffs exceptionally high, 83 metres to be exact....