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History, Heritage and Archaeology – Archaeology in the Ancient World: Petra

Year 9 Elective History




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Petra, Arabic Baṭrā, ancient city, centre of an Arab kingdom in Hellenistic and Roman times, the ruins of which are in southwest Jordan. The city was built on a terrace, pierced from east to west by the Wadi Mūsā (the Valley of Moses)—one of the places where, according to tradition, the Israelite leader Moses struck a rock and water gushed forth.

Google Arts and Culture

Petra (meaning “rock”), a Jordanian UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The Nabataeans, a desert people, carved by hand thousands of rose-colored temples, dwellings, and tombs into the red sandstone landscape.

Ancient Origins

Petra, Jordan is one of the world's most famous archaeological sites, where ancient Eastern traditions blend with Hellenistic architecture. The lost city of Petra - named as one of the new 7 Wonders of the World - is a majestic place that is thousands of years old,


Simon Schama travels to the civilisations of Petra.

Petra remained a hidden and forgotten city for more than 1000 years... What's inside of all these beautiful buildings carved in the rock? In this video we will explore the city and its history from an architectural point of view.


The ancient lost city of Petra is a magnificent sight – find out how it was discovered in the eighteenth century and why it remains one of the world’s greatest buildings.

Structural engineer Steve Burrows leads the Time Scanners team to the Middle East to scan the ancient city of Petra - an architectural wonderland. Using cutting-edge 3D laser-scanning technology, Steve and the team are able to visualize the city like never before, allowing them to answer long-standing questions about this archaeological masterpiece.

Google Maps

Petra is a famous archaeological site in Jordan's southwestern desert. Dating to around 300 B.C., it was the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom. Accessed via a narrow canyon called Al Siq, it contains tombs and temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs, earning its nickname, the "Rose City." Perhaps its most famous structure is 45m-high Al Khazneh, a temple with an ornate, Greek-style facade, and known as The Treasury.

Ancient History Encyclopedia

Alexander the Great (r. 336-323 BCE) founded cities in the region (such as Gerasa) and the Nabateans carved their capital city of Petra there from sandstone cliffs. Early in its history the area attracted and inspired traders, artists, philosophers, craftsmen and, inevitably, conquerors all of whom have left their mark on the history of the modern-day country.

National Geographic

Carved directly into vibrant red, white, pink, and sandstone cliff faces, the prehistoric Jordanian city of Petra was "lost" to the Western world for hundreds of years.