The Lost World Of Petra

PetraTombs-jordan-bigAn ancient city whose existence is known but not its origins. There are hints in history but nothing concrete. Yet it stands craved into a mountain, evidence of the greatness of the civilisation and still the craftsman remains in the shadow.

An ancient city that started settling nearly 1500 to 1200 years before the advent of Christ. Tantalising hints of this magnificent city can be found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Bible and in the Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews).

Known to the Egyptians till the Middle Ages the existence of this marvelous wonder was lost thereafter. The memory erased, only whispered legends and mysteries remained. It was rediscovered only 300 years back in 1812 by a Swiss explorer.

Temples, crypts and tombs, a treasury all carved out of solid rock. The greatness of the city lay in a water dispensing system that can almost equal modern dams.

The rocks are almost like chameleons that change colour as the day progresses. Neither red nor pink, neither white nor grey. Found it might have been but mysterious and lost it still remains.

John William Burgon’s Poem Petra describes it best.

But from the rock as if by magic grown,
eternal, silent, beautiful, alone! . . .
. . .match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,
a rose-red city half as old as time.