City of Petra in Jordan

26 Mar

JordanThe lands of today’s Jordan? Historians can not give an exact answer to this question. We only know that Nabatiyah built an amazing and mysterious city of Petra. City of Rocks, where lived and the dead and the living. Lost in the desert ghost town, for centuries, overgrown with legends, and finally, almost accidentally discovered in the early XIX century …
Tales of lost in the rocks and sands of the ancient Nabataean city excited the minds of European scholars and travelers since the days of the Crusaders. These lands in the Middle Ages controlled fierce Bedouin tribes, but because of their inaccessibility further fueled the imagination. Moving away in time, Peter is increasingly took on the ghostly features of the Middle East
Eldorado, until finally, almost by accident was not discovered by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. In the hope of finding the lost city, he went along with the caravan from Damascus to Cairo. In late August 1812 traveler was far from the intended location of Petra. Because he spoke excellent Arabic, was dressed as nomads, and generally posing as a Muslim, Ibrahim ibn Abdullah, he has not made much effort to exhort the local Arabs to take him to the grave of the brother of Moses, the prophet Aaron, was buried, according to legend, on top of one from the mountains, ostensibly to sacrifice. To the surprise of Burckhardt, Bedouins took him into the mountains. From a distance they seemed completely insurmountable, but the approach to them in one of the rocks suddenly discovered a narrow passage into a deep gorge – Sick. After a twenty-minute walk along the bottom of a winding canyon gaze astonished Swiss opened the grandiose ruins of a dead city, in which he identified Petra – the lost capital of the Nabataeans. From this discovery, he was so excited that I almost was not betrayed himself. But the deed was done, Burckhardt was the first European in the last six hundred years, which saw the miracle of light. On the Nabataeans is little known today. They themselves have left currently no written evidence. Everything we know about them – it’s history, told a visiting travelers for hundreds of years ago, or poor data of archaeological excavations. By the way, in Peter studied in detail only about fifteen percent of the territory. So it is not known what other discoveries await us in the future. Although unlikely, these excavations will shed light on, say, the origin of the Nabataeans. Some consider them simple nomads, who settled in this convenient location only because of its favorable geographical location. From ancient times there were the main caravan routes connecting Europe, Asia and Africa. Others do not agree with this, pointing to too extensive knowledge of the Nabataeans in the field of agriculture and irrigation. This, in general, it really was not peculiar to the nomads. Some people call their homeland of Assyria, north of the Arabian Peninsula, or even Yemen. Theories are many, but to understand which of them is true, it is difficult. Anyway, it is known that the first ruler of the Nabataean kingdom was Aretha I, ascended the throne in 169 BC
City of Petra in Jordan . Of course, the history of the state in the rock of Peter, whose name means in Greek “rock”, did not begin with this moment. Known for certain that in 312 BC it already existed. This is indicated by the Greek sources. It was in this year’s Greek army led by Antigonus made an unsuccessful trip to Petra. Most likely, from this point and began the rise of the state, which reached its apogee to 106, when he died last Nabatean ruler Rabbel II. Taking advantage of this moment, the Roman Empire too easy to join the rich and prosperous kingdom. Peter became a part of the Roman province of Arabia. Three hundred more years to continue its prosperity. But imperceptible fading of the city began just then. The fact that Nabatiyeh were a kind of customs or border guards. They collected tribute from caravans passing by. When doing this for centuries, and they amassed their fabulous wealth, the fame of which haunted many generations of hunters. Just at this time began the rise of other gems in the Middle East – Palmyra. Caravans have gone other ways, as residents of Petra remained only regret of the lost grandeur and power. Peter managed to stay and part of Byzantium, while two terrible earthquakes in 363 and 747 years. finally finish it. During the reign of the Arabs and the Crusades the city was already dead. And only a treasure hunt, which had to be hidden somewhere here, continued to beckon here a variety of adventurers. Since then, the main character of Petra – Execution stayed numerous traces of bullets. Bedouins believed that if you get in the right place, then they poured the golden rain. Alas, it is not poured, but who knows, maybe they just did not shoot wherever necessary. It is possible that a fantastic Nabataean treasures still lie somewhere in those pink ruins. After all, nobody ever saw that were taken out of the city values. Although, truth be told, for three hundred years could proest any, even incalculable, and wealth.
No wonder that Steven Spielberg made the Treasury backdrop to the story about the search for the Holy Grail. True, the film follows the adventures of Indiana Jones this fantastic facade of a door, behind which lurk unpredictable maze. Unfortunately, it is not. The facades of all the tombs were cut into the rocks, but because behind them are only small funeral premises in which Nabatiyah buried kings or nobility. Imagine what must have been the architect’s mastery in order to accurately calculate and cut a piece of solid stone, such cyclopean monolithic headstone.
Due to the abundance of tombs in the XIX century the followers of Peter Burckhardt even dubbed a giant necropolis. It’s not quite true. Despite the abundance of the graves in the best of times in the city was home to at least 20 000 people. Just home, located on the plains, have not survived to our days. But the extant buildings of Roman times, talking about the fact that once life in Petra was in full swing. This central paved street, columns, triumphal arch, the ruins of some other structures. The magnificent theater on three thousand people to this series does not apply because it was built long before the arrival of the Romans and, apparently, the Nabataeans used in ritual for religious purposes. Say exactly what was happening on stage is a theater, it is impossible. As we have said, written evidence is left, so it remains only to build all sorts of speculation. For the same reason should not be surprising to some mysterious name to Peter: Church of winged lions, the Palace of Pharaoh’s daughter, Dzhinnovy blocks, the same treasury of Pharaoh. All of them were invented much later, when by the Nabataeans was gone. Those who gave a similar name, is not guided by reliable sources, and their own highly subjective impressions. For example, Bedouins sincerely believed that Peter was built the ancient Egyptian pharaohs.
Today we know that the Egyptians did not have to build the city of Petra in Jordan, no relation. This was done by another, equally mysterious people, architecture has reached the inaccessible heights – tocsin. Without exaggeration, one can say that the best reminder that they had left on his descendants, and which speaks of them better than all the annals of this windswept pink rock masterpiece, hid them among the towering mountains.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 26, 2011 in Historical


Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *