Petra - Jordan
Petra was the impressive capital of the Nabataean kingdom from around the 6th century BC. The kingdom was absorbed into the Roman Empire in AD 106 and the Romans continued to expand the city. An important center for trade and commerce, Petra continued to flourish until a catastrophic earthquake destroyed buildings and crippled vital water management systems around AD 663. After Saladin’s conquest of the Middle East in 1189, Petra was abandoned and the memory of it was lost to the West.
The ruins remained hidden to most of the world until the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, disguised as an Arab scholar, infiltrated the Bedouin-occupied city in 1812. Burckhardt’s accounts of his travels inspired other Western explorers and historians to discover the ancient city further. The most famous of these was David Roberts, a Scottish artist who created accurate and detailed illustrations of the city in 1839.
The first major excavations of the site were in 1929 after the forming of Trans-Jordan. Since that time, Petra has become by far Jordan’s largest tourist attraction. The site was included in the Steven Spielberg movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989 and was chosen in July 2007 as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
|Languages spoken||Arabic, English|