Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the 7 wonders of the world, is the legacy of the Nabateans, an industrious Arab people who settled in south Jordan more than 2000 years ago.
Much of Petra's appeal comes from its spectacular setting deep inside a narrow desert gorge. From the main entrance, the visitor travels on foot through the awesome "SIQ", an immense crack in the sandstone that winds for one kilometer between overhanging cliffs.
Petra's most famous monument, the Treasury, appears dramatically at the end of the Siq and various walks and climbs reveal literally hundreds of buildings, facades, tombs, baths, funerary halls, temples and a 3000 seat theater from the lst Century AD.
The sheer size of the city and the quality of beautifully carved facades is staggering and leads one to reflect on the creativity and industry of the Nabateans who made Petra their capital more than 2,000 years ago. From their capital at Petra the Nabateans had established an elaborate network of caravan routes which brought spices, incense, myrrh, gold, silver and precious stones from India and Arabia, to be traded onto the west. From the wealth they acquired, they adorned their city with palaces, temples and arches.
Many that were freestanding have largely disappeared but many were carved into the rock i.e. the treasury, the monumental tombs and the high place of sacrifice. These still remain today in a condition of perfection so staggering that you feel you must have entered a time wrap.