Coordinates: 30°19′43″N 35°26′31″E / 30.32861°N 35.44194°E / 30.32861; 35.44194
This article is about a World Heritage Site
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Tourists in front of Al Khazneh (The Treasury) at Petra
LocationMa'an Governorate, Jordan
Coordinates30°19′43″N 35°26′31″E / 30.32861°N 35.44194°E / 30.32861; 35.44194
Area264 square kilometres (102 sq mi)[1]
Elevation810 m (2,657 ft)
Builtpossibly as early as 5th century BC [2]
Visitors918,000 (in 2010)
Governing bodyPetra Region Authority
Petra is located in Jordan
Location of Petra
Raqmu in Jordan
CriteriaCultural: i, iii, iv
Inscription1985 (9th Session)

Petra is a historical and archaeological city in southern Jordan.

It is in a basin among the mountains that run from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba.[3]

History[change | change source]

Petra is believed to have been settled as early as 9,000 BC. It became the capital city of the Nabataean Kingdom. The Nabataeans were nomadic Arabs who used Petra because it was near the spice trade routes.[4]

The Nabataean Kingdom became a client state of the Roman Empire in the first century BC. In 106 AD they lost their independence. Petra's importance declined as sea trade routes developed. Also, an earthquake in 363 AD destroyed many structures.

The Byzantine Era led to the construction of several Christian churches, but the city continued to decline. By the early Islamic era only a handful of nomads lived in Petra. It stayed unknown to the world until it was rediscovered in 1812 by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.[5][6]

UNESCO Status[change | change source]

Petra is one of the seven new wonders of the world. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. UNESCO has described it as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage".[7]

Petra is Jordan's most-visited tourist attraction. Tourist numbers peaked to half a million in the first quarter of 2019.[8]

Lower Petra.
This may have been the place where Mohammed lived his youth and had his first revelations.
As the first Muslim mosques and cemeteries show, it was also the first Qibla of Muslims

References[change | change source]

  1. "Management of Petra". Petra National Trust. Archived from the original on 19 April 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  2. Browning, Iain (1973, 1982), Petra, Chatto & Windus, London, p. 15, ISBN 0-7011-2622-1
  3. Glueck, Nelson 1959. Rivers in the desert: a history of the Negev. New York: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy/London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  4. Seeger, Josh; Gus W. van Beek (1996). Retrieving the past: essays on archaeological research and methodology. Eisenbrauns. p. 56. ISBN 978-1575060125.
  5. Glueck, Grace (17 October 2003). "ART REVIEW; Rose-Red City Carved From the Rock" – via
  6. McKenzie, Judith (1990). The Architecture of Petra. (Oxford University Press)
  7. "UNESCO advisory body evaluation" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  8. "Petra visitors continue to increase in first quarter of 2019". Jordan Times. 2019-04-01. Retrieved 2020-05-26.