Lost City of Petra

April 20   2003

  Petra, Jordan

Approach to the Treasury 30K

Getting closer   31K

The Treasury Facade  29K

Close up of urn   27K

This is the Famous Treasury Facade in the Lost city of  Petra.  I had hiked down hill through the Sique or valley for about a kilometer or so. then mysteriously, as if in a movie the building is revealed from the stone.  This is the very same stone building used in the movie "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" with Sean Conery and Harrison Ford.  It is very hard to truly grasp the size of this carving from the pictures. Look at the wide shot with the people and the camel.  It is about 13 stories high about 130 feet, the door opening alone is 35 feet tall.  Inside is a room.  It is very tall but not to deep or large.  Pictures of the inside were really crappie because it is so big and very dim.  The bottom picture is the detail of the "Urn" on the top.  It is legend that this urn is hallow and filled with gold and treasure.  That is how the structure got its name the Treasury.  Hard to see in these pictures but there are many little chips in the urn where people tried to break in or shoot their way in.  This building was originally used at a temple to the some god i don't remember  and sacrifices of goats and sheep were made at the threshold.

normal houses   38K

sandstone  33K

the tomb   31K

roman city gate  28K

This is a more normal shot of the rest of the town.  The Treasury is kinda up by itself and is a one end of the town.  These holes in the rock are where the normal people of the town would live.  It is estimated that the city was built between 500BC and 500 AD.  Petra is located at the cross roads of 3 major trading routes in the anchient arab world.  Next is a closer up shot of the sand stone that this valley is made from.  Sand stone is relatively soft and easier to carve, than say granite.  Also notice all the colors in the stone, hundreds of shades of red, terra-cotta, brown, beige, and white.  When the sun moved across the day the colors seemed to change within the rocks.  Next is another hill with another "house"  This facade is called "The Tombs" because at the base of the structure it looks like an ancient Greek Mausoleum.  The bottom picture here is of the anchient Roman gate.  This was the entrance to the city  back in roman times and marked the end of town.  These columns have been partially restored.  The white parts are the restored parts.

The Temple   33K

basil and Jack  42K

local plants   41K

jack and Temple   41K

This last facade is up almost on top of the valley.  A hearty climb of about 900 steps.  Fortunately there were donkeys available for hire and I hired.  The walk down was not so bad.  This is called the Temple.  since this place is so far away from the main city there were only a few dedicated priests that would stay up here and make the daily prayers and keep the place up.  Then once a week the towns people would hike up the hill to make their prayers.  The Guy with Cactus Jack is Basil.  He was a guide I met in Amman a few days before and was my guide for the day here in Petra.  He laughed every time I brought Jack out of my bag.  Below is just a picture of some of the brush around the area.  I don't remember what plant this was but it was everywhere and reminded me of "mule ear" back home.  And Finally Cactus jack standing in from of The Temple.  Notice on the right side just how far back into the mountain this carving is set.  After this Basil, Jack, and I hiked all the way back to the Treasury and up the hill to the car.  Then the thrilling 3 hour ride back to the city.


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