The Treasury at Night
Stephanie Craig is a well known travel writer
The story of the Lost City of Petra begins with the story of the Nabataeans, nomadic traders who eventually settled in Edomite territory around 2 B.C. The Nabataeans had traveled everywhere and picked up architectural ideas from the Persians, Greeks, and Romans, and adapted these ideas into something that was uniquely their own. We don’t have a lot of information about the Nabataeans because no self-written history has been found.
Petra is not the only Nabataean site – You may want to see Mada’in Saleh
Mada’in Saleh, also known as Hegra, in Saudi Arabia, it is not as famous as Petra, but is still a significant Nabataean site. Mada’in Saleh has a wealth of beautiful tombs carved into the sandstone mountains of the region.
Petra was much the same under Roman rule as it was in the reign of the Nabataeans
When the Romans took over the Nabataeans, life actually stayed much the same for the residents of Petra. In this episode, Jane Taylor explains the relationship between the Romans and the people of Petra, and how Petra flourished through the 6th Century. She then describes the gradual decline of Petra, mostly due to trade considerations. The Lost City of Petra has a fascinating history.
Tombs in Petra
How was Petra lost and rediscovered?
During the early Crusader period, Petra was clearly regarded as an important center. But after the Crusaders, there is a gap in our knowledge, with no references to Petra from the 14th Century until Swiss explorer John Lewis Burckhardt rediscovered it in 1812.
What is it like to travel to Petra today?
You have probably heard of the famous sandstone carved structure – The Treasury – but The Treasury is simply the foretaste of Petra itself. What was it like to visit Petra, from the mind-blowing scale of the site, the stupendous view from the monastery, to how to negotiate the price of a camel ride? On my visit, I found the aggressive haggling with vendors to be quite a culture shock. Prepare yourself for an amazing trip by reading Jane’s Taylors book, describing her favorite places and why Petra is her favorite place in the world.
Resources & People Mentioned
- Book: Petra, Jane Taylor
- Book: Jordan, Images From the Air, Jane Taylor
- Book (Available only in Jordan at this time): • Petra and the Lost Kingdom of the Nabataeans, Jane Taylor
- Jane Taylor’s Website
- Hotels in Wadi Musa
- Free trial book on Audible.com
- Book • History Of The Ancient World From The Earliest Accounts To The Fall Of Rome History Of The Ancient World, Susan Wise Bauer
- Audible version: The History of the Ancient World, from the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome, Susan Wise Bauer