The archaeological sites that unfold a great mystery and profound story are always eye catching for tourists of the world. Paying visit to these sites or even reading their history shows the lifestyle of those civilizations that had an impact which is still deep till date. It became unable for people to neglect these sites and somehow they dig deep and find out the lost cultures even if their signs were faded with passing time. It is very obvious that the natural disasters and wars held between people damaged many things but few remains are still there and is a center of attraction for many people. Same is the site of Jordan, Petra that was also known as Raqmu in ancient times.Let’s explore this beautiful historic site of Jordan with the Author.
History of Petra, Jordan:
Nabataeans or Nabateans were originally Arab people who settled in the capital city of Raqmu which is now called Petra. From the Euphrates to the Red Sea, the borderland between Arabia and Syria was given the name Nabatene. They had little control over the area and as a result it was conquered by Trajan a Roman Emperor who converted the kingdom into the Roman Kingdom. Nabataeans were most precious people of the ancient world. They were from a nomadic tribe and thus were very familiar with thick and thin situations. They settle wherever they find food and water. Their specialty is to preserve water in areas like a desert and efficiently convert solid rocks into a fine structure. Carving is what they were best at. This is the reason their city Raqmu (present Petra) in Jordan is one of the new seven wonders of the world.
There are some ancient sites in the world which reveal great culture and civilization of people at that time. Visiting these sites tell stories about their lifestyle, their heritage, and history. Many of these sites have gone reconstruction because of negligence in their proper safety and maintenance. Up till now, people work in finding out such sites that are a mark of ancient civilization and its inhabitants. Such sites that are unique with respect to their structure, history, culture and have other distinct significance are selected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Sites and this Petra a Jordanian Cultural and Historic site is one of them.
This cultural site was unknown to a majority of tourists until the year 1812 after which it gained popularity. The city is also known as Rose City for the color of stone it is carved with. The city is famous for its architectures that were made by cutting rocks. It is the specialty of ancient people that they were outstanding in making amazing buildings by carving stone and shaping it in whichever way they want. Many of such sites had to be rebuilt or renovated in one way or the other. Petra is also considered as one of the most precious cultural property of man’s cultural heritage and it is also on the list of places one must visit before death.
The city is surrounded by towering rocks and watered by a stream. It is one of the specialties of Nabataeans that they preserve water very well. Even if flood met the city, the people were able to preserve its water and created an artificial oasis. They made little dams, water conduits, and cisterns. This showed how well civilized and proper they were in management.
Threats and Damages to Petra, Jordan:
The site was damaged by many factors. Collapse and flood damaged it. Rainwater and poor drainage system damaged it. Unstable tourism and no restoration made it worse. And since it was not very familiar site in the past so there wasn’t proper maintenance committee to look after this historical site. But the year it was selected in the New Severn Wonders of the World, proper attempts were made to save this site from any harm and damage. Many local and international projects were initiated to protect and preserve this gem of archaeological heritage.
The religion of Nabataeans:
The Religion of these people was worshiping idols. And it is still depicted if one visit these sites. They follow and worship the Arab idols, their god and goddesses. For each thing, they have specified an idol. Like the god of the sun, rain, thunderstorm and much more. And they carve their statues in stones. The statues were a symbol of divinity and hope. They worship their idols and pray to them for favors and grants. Up till now many old civilizations whose remains have been preserved as heritage in museums of the world shows the idols.
If someone is preparing for a tour and not including this outstanding archaeological and cultural site in his/her list, it’s definitely an act of injustice 🙂