Journey Into The Lost City Of Petra
Journey deep into the sandstone cliffs of Jordan’s Desert and you will discover a city lost to the world. As your journey takes you through the Siq, you will enjoy the spectacular wonders of nature. The first major sites to see are the silica quarries found off to the left, It was perhaps in these quarries, that the Nabataean made their famous waterproof cement. Going a little farther up on the right are square-cut stones. These stones usually marked an entrance to the city. Since Petra is a hidden city, markers such as these square stones were extremely significant.
For those who find the walk through the siq challenging, there are carts that carry two passengers available for rent, including the driver. This is the way that many of the Bedouins provide for their families. The rides are very inexpensive, and you know that you have helped a local Bedouin make a living. Most likely, you will be asked several times if you want to rent a horse or a cart. After a while, they will graciously allow you to walk, If you are using a cart or buggy, you can usually ask the driver to stop at places along the way to take pictures. Remember that your driver may speak very little English, so speak slow, and be creative when talking. For example, if your driver does not understand, you may want to hold the camera up and point to what you want to photograph. The Bedouin people are very gracious, and desire to be helpful and friendly.
The Siq is a “Thaniya” or a small crack in the mountain. There are only two of these cracks leading into the hidden city, the largest one being the Siq. As you journey through the Sig, keep your eyes alert for a channel on the left. This was the way that water was channeled into the city from several miles away. Everything about this city is hidden, so you must stay focused if you want to see these little things. The walk into the Siq takes just under an hour. On a cooler day, it is a very amazing experience. The Siq has many such treasures. The journey through the Siq is over a half of a mile, but may seem longer due to the intense heat. It is always good to have a water bottle, a good hat, and a scarf when walking in the deserts of Jordan. Do not forget to apply sunscreen.
This is a very exciting part of the Siq. You have just passed the channel where water was brought into the city and now the road changes. You are now walking on ancient cobblestones that are over 2,000 years old. If you look closely, you may see the ruts that were made by the wheels of the chariots. The walk through the Siq, is a walk through history.
As you continue your journey, you will begin to see the niches for the gods of the Nabataean people. On the right, you will eventually come to a niche that has three blocks. Was this the first Trinity? The journey through the Siq is exciting! One thing is very clear, without a knowledgeable guide, this city would remain hidden.
As your journey through the Siq is coming to an end, an amazing sight opens up. This is your first view of the Treasury. This sneak view is amazing! As the Treasury opens before your eyes, the Siq, becomes history. The journey through the Treasury has begun! Once you have adjusted to the awe of the Treasury, step inside and have a look around. This tremendous monument is several stories high, with unbelievable workmanship looking you in the eye. It is impossible to describe the emotions of standing at the foot of this monument and looking up. There are intricate carvings and square shaped lines. This was the work of skilled artisans! It is amazing!
No one knows for sure what the Treasury Monument was used for. But one thing we do know, it was built to make a magnificent first impression as one leaves the Siq. The high dominant position of the Treasury, only adds to the impressiveness of this beautiful monument. It’s use has long been forgotten! Archaeologists have yet to unearth even a clue. Just as this city remained hidden and unknown for thousands of years, so the Treasury continues to guard it’s best kept secrets!
As you journey through the Treasury, you will see the grandeur of the Nabataeans! For sure the Nabataeans wanted to impress the world with their skills. The beauty of the Treasury is magnificent! The greatness of this civilization is obvious! This was not built by a group of barbarians from the desert! This was a society that could read and write. Most historians agree that the Nabataeans were extremely literate! There are amazing inscriptions throughout the city. However, archaeologists have yet to uncover their scrolls or libraries. Once again, the Treasury is guarding its secrets!
The journey to Petra has ended, and a new journey will open up before your eyes. You have emerged from the Siq and entered the plaza. You have had your first view of this amazing and intellectual city. You have tasted of the grandeur, now you can go on to explore. You have stepped inside the Nabataean Civilization! You have seen the impossible! A new journey lies ahead, as this one comes to a close. Perhaps on your next journey, you will unravel one of the secrets, still guarded to this day! As the doors to Petra open before you, step into your next leg of the journey!