This article is about a World Heritage Site


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Petra Jordan BW 21.JPG
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; 35.44194Coordinates: 30°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
UNESCO World Heritage Site
CriteriaCultural: i, iii, iv
Inscription1985 (9th Session)

Petra (Arabic: البتراء, Al-Batrāʾ; Ancient Greek: Πέτρα) 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.

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.[3]

The Nabataean Kingdom became a client state of the Roman Empire in the first century BC. iIn 106 AD they lost their independence. Petra's importance declined as sea trade routes developed. Also, the 363 earthquake 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.[4]

UNESCO Status[change | change source]

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".[5]

Petra is Jordan's most-visited tourist attraction. Tourist numbers peaked to half a million in the first quarter of 2019.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Management of Petra". Petra National Trust. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  2. Browning, Iain (1973, 1982), Petra, Chatto & Windus, London, p. 15, ISBN 0-7011-2622-1
  3. Seeger, Josh; Gus W. van Beek (1996). Retrieving the Past: Essays on Archaeological Research and Methodolog. Eisenbrauns. p. 56. ISBN 978-1575060125.
  4. Glueck, Grace (17 October 2003). "ART REVIEW; Rose-Red City Carved From the Rock" – via
  5. "UNESCO advisory body evaluation" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  6. "Petra visitors continue to increase in first quarter of 2019". Jordan Times. 2019-04-01. Retrieved 2020-05-26.