Sunday, December 09, 2007

ANOTHER PETRA TRAVELOGUE. There sure are a lot of these.
Following Indy's Footsteps
Visit to ancient city of Petra proves to be truly awe-inspiring

Larry Perry
Sunday, December 9, 2007

Walking down a mile-long, 25-foot-wide slot canyon known as the Siq in southern Jordan, Daniel Martin, son of Lee Martin of Knoxville, turned the corner and stopped suddenly to gaze in disbelief at the scene before him. With eyes as big as saucers, he looked at his dad and said, “Wow Dad!”

As we turned the corner from a narrow part of the canyon walls, there appeared a scene right out of Indiana Jones’ “The Last Crusade” movie. There before us stood the ancient city of Petra. The first structure seen is the Treasury Building, which bears a facade that is carved into the sandstone cliff wall and is about 150 feet high. It dates back to a civilization from the sixth century B.C., the Nabataean period.


Lee, Daniel, my wife, Eloise, and I were on a photo shoot that took us to most of the Holy Land and parts of Jordan. The shoot included the World Heritage Site of Petra, which, incidentally, was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World by the New Open World Corp.

While not mentioned by name in the Bible, Petra, which means “rock,” is often identified as “Sela,” which also means “rock,” in the Bible and other ancient writings. The Petra area was the home of the Edomites of the Old Testament. They were cave dwellers. Rekem is another ancient name for Petra and appears in the Dead Sea scrolls. This region in southern Jordan is on the main east/west trade route between much of Arabia and the Mediterranean and Red seas. The city of Petra is about 60 miles north of the Red Sea and easily accessible by the King’s Highway.

I'm pretty sure that the treasury building was built a lot later than in the sixth century B.C.E.