Petra is located in 185 kms southwest of Rabbath in Jordan. It is an ancient city carved in red desert rocks. It is an attractive destination to many poeple from all over the world. Some scenes of the famous movie “Indiana Jones: Last Crusade” has been shooted in Petra, so the city has become more popular to visit.
Petra had been the capital of Nabataeans who were nomadic trailer traders and and whose mother language was Aramaic before Romans invaded the city in 106 AC. After Roman invasion, trailer trade finished. The settlement continued during Medieval Age. But then, a lot of earthquakes happened. So, people left the city at the end.
Urbanization here started 2100 years ago when people began carving their houses into the rocks. In this period, people left their tents and started to live in these permanent rock houses. They developed their rock houses and even they added columns and rooms to them. To reach water, they constructed canals, pipes, and cisterns.
Most of the graves of Petra is located outside the city, away from the main street. Some of them include elaborated more than one burial. The most known grave of Petra is “Khazneh” and it means “treasure”. Indigenous people gave that name because they believe that there was a hidden treasure in the grave. Archaeologists know the grave was two-storey and high. The front side of the grave is 25 meters wide and 39 meters height.
The grave is basically Greek style and the columns are Corinth style. On entry there are gadroneeds of twin sisters Castor and Pollux who has a great importance in Greek and Roman mythology. On the top, there is an eikon of possibly Egyptian goddess Isıs and eikons of six amazons carrying axes. Besides, there are also griffons, eagles, two-winged creatures, vine, pomegranates on the top.
The inside of the grave is simpler than the outside. The entry opens to three rooms. The largest one is 12,5×36 meters wide and 10 meters height. Three niches here indicate that once upon a time there were three tombs in this room.
Archaeologist don’t know whom the grave belongs to and when the grave has been built. According to the researcher Andrew Stewart, one of the candidate is King Aretas IV. The King had two wives and died in 15 AC.
There are lots of ancient carving constructions in other countries. I am going to go on writing about them. Thanks for reading.