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The ancient city of Petra is one of Jordan's national treasures. Petra is the legacy of the Nabateans, an industrious Arab people who settled in southern Jordan more than 2000 years ago. Admired then for its refined culture, massive architecture and ingenious complex of dams and water channels, Petra is now a UNESCO world heritage site. Petra's most famous monument, the Treasury, appears dramatically at the end of the siq. Used in the final sequence of the film "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", the towering facade of the Treasury is only one of myriad archaeological wonders to be explored at Petra. Various walks and climbs reveal literally hundreds of buildings, tombs, baths, funerary halls, temples, arched gateways, colonnaded streets and haunting rock drawings - as well as a 3000 seat open air amphitheatre circa and a gigantic first century Monastery. Music: My Beautiful Home Land
Petra, Jordan was lost to the Western World from about the 14th century until the early 19th century
Petra's glory days were in the century before Christ's birth. When Rome annexed it in the second century, Petra had about 30,000 residents.
Petra, where breath- taking architecture is carved into rose- colored sandstone cliffs
Following Petra's decline a few centuries after Christ's birth, most of its buildings were buried by sand which sheltered the carvings over the centuries. Petra was rediscovered in 1812.
Petra was one of the most easy to defend cities of the ancient world. Petra's temples, tombs, theaters and other buildings are scattered over 400 square miles. The Nabataeans carved channels into the sides of the cliffs. Modern engineers say the Nabataens were : "absolute geniuses" at controlling rainwater to prevent flooding and to avoid shortages in times of drought. The Nabataeans carved channels into the sides of the cliffs. Modern engineers say the Nabataens were "absolute geniuses" at controlling rainwater to prevent flooding and to avoid shortages in times of drought.
"The Treasury," the first facade you see as you enter Petra, is world famous because of the Indiana Jones "The Last Crusade" movie. Carved into the cliff, "The Treasury" is so-named because at the top of the enormous structure is a carved, stone object that looks like an urn. According to legend, the urn contains treasure. Chips on the inaccessible urn are the results of unsuccessful attempts to break it with bullets and stones.