The dots on the timeline bar below the video above indicate the beginning of the chapter.  List of the chapters: 

00:43 • the access canyon to Petra

02:48 • irrigation system dug in the rock

03:55 • the Treasure (Al Khazneh)

07:29 • 5th century church

12:52 • the monastery



Archaeological finds bear witness to the fact that the region of Petra had been inhabited for at least 7000 years before Jesus Christ.

the Nabataeans

The Nabataeans would have settled there around the 4th century BC. The Nabataeans were one of the many nomadic tribes that roamed the Arabian desert in search of food for their flocks. According to one of the hypotheses relating to their origin, it is possible that the Nabataeans were originally from Yemen, but their culture, religion and writing were very different from those of the Arabs. This is a point that continues to fuel the mystery around their origin.

Still, around the 2nd century BC, the Nabataeans built their capital at Petra (which was called Raqmu at the time) by digging their temples and palaces into the rock. Petra is one of the most important cave sites in the world.

The Nabataeans had become skilled traders and trading in incense was one of their main occupations, very lucrative occupations.

Their centuries-old experience of living in the desert quickly gave them a huge advantage over the surrounding populations, often hostile. Their science of water management was for them predominant for their survival.

They were also skilled sculptors. Which was useful for them to carve their city in the rock.

The most emblematic monument of the city of Petra is certainly "the treasure", Al-Khazneh, which was probably the mausoleum of King Aretas IV, who was a contemporary of Jesus Christ. It was also the time of the height of Nabataean civilization. At that time, Petra had over 20,000 inhabitants.

Decline of the Nabataeans

The great power of the time was Rome. The Nabataean kingdom had been tributary to Rome since the 1st century BC, but did not lose its independence until the year 106 AD.

The Romans developed sea routes for trade with Arabia, and gradually Petra lost its importance. Another important element in the decline of the kingdom was the earthquake which destroyed part of the city in 363.

Several churches were built in Petra during the Byzantine era, but this did not prevent the city from continuing to decline.

The coup de grace was given by the Muslim invasions and the beginning of the Islamic era meant the end of the kingdom of the Nabataeans. Only a few nomads continued to live there, and the city fell into oblivion until the 19th century. It was in 1812 that the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt rediscovered this marvel.

about the place, Petra:

The name of Petra comes from the Greek and means "rock". But the inhabitants of the time had given it a more poetic name. They called their city "the motley", Raqmu or Reqem.

The origin of the city goes back to the 8th century BC, when it was created by the Edomites who experienced the decline around the 5th century BC.

The Nabataeans replaced them and made a fortune thanks to the geographical position of Petra on the caravan route carrying incense and spices from Arabia to Egypt and the Mediterranean. The modification of the caravan route and numerous earthquakes put an end to this civilization. The city of Petra has had a population of up to 25,000.

The site then fell completely into oblivion until one fine day in 1812 when a Swiss explorer, Jean Louis Burckhardt rediscovered it.


Spoken comments in the film: 

This is certainly one of the less glorious aspects of Petra. The mistreatment of the horses that bring tourists to the site is matched only by that of the donkeys climbing the stairs to the monastery in the center of the site ...

But as long as we make these journeys on foot, the site of Petra is fabulous.

Petra is certainly the most famous site in Jordan.

Its origin remains mysterious but it was the capital of the Nabataeans at the beginning of our era.

Located in the desert, Petra was a commercial center on the caravan route. It is this geographical location that for a long time made the fortune of the merchants who lived in the locality.

As the city is located in a desert, water management was a major issue.

And the ingenuity of the Nabataean architects was truly remarkable and could inspire current managers. They managed to eliminate the shortage while avoiding any waste of this precious commodity that is water.


** Jordan **


Amman, Jordan


Bethany, Jordan


Fort Ajloun, Jordan


Jerash, Jordan


Jordanie romaine


Little Petra, Jordan


Madaba, Jordan


Mount Nebo


Petra, Jordan


Shobak - Krak Montreal


Um ar-Rasas


Um Qais


Wadi Rum

Petra, Jordan



 - YouTube video library - A Fallen Cowboy

 - YouTube video library - Beth

 - YouTube video library - Carol of the Bells

 - YouTube video library - Cortosis - Scoring Action, (© Cortosis - Scoring Action by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.



 - YouTube video library - Mighty and Meek, (© Mighty and Meek by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.


Artist: )