Who were the Nabataeans?
Imagine what would happen if a bunch of wheeler-dealer nomads, with some seriously incredible ideas about hydraulics, decided to create a capital city amid a hidden canyon to protect and run their spice trading empire from.
Think about the work it must have taken to chisel 40m-high facades into sheer stone and the engineering wizardry of the channel system of terracotta pipes that brought water into the city.
Remember that what you see today is just the monuments, temples and tombs that have withstood 2000 years. This was once a living, breathing empire’s capital that managed to maintain its independence even as the might of the Roman Empire gobbled up the Middle East.
That was who the Nabataeans were.
For more information on visiting Petra you can read my recent story on hiking Petra’s Bedouin back trails for BBC Travel.
What beautiful images of Petra! It has always been on the top of my list of places to go…
Thanks! It’s a gorgeous place isn’t it.
amazing place…nice shots you have there. 🙂
I really enjoyed Jordan and especially Petra, but I REALLY wanted to spend more time there to hike some of those back trails/Little Petra. What did you think? Better? Worse? Different? (BBC won’t let me link to your BBC travel article ).
The Bedouin back trails of Petra are definitely a highlight of the site for me. I wouldn’t say they were ‘better’ than the main tourist routes, they just open up a whole new perspective on the site and you get a greater appreciation for the scope of what the Nabataeans did as well as its more recent Bdoul Bedouin history. Also, for avid hikers the back trails are fantastic for the sheer panoramic beauty of the surrounding landscapes and – of course – you’re often the only one hiking them so it’s an amazing way to see a different side of Petra far away from the crowds. You’ll just have to go back now… 🙂
I would love to go back. I want to hike (in the non-scorpion season) through Little Petra. I want to see the Dana biosphere as well. And make it back to the Wadi Rum. and, and, and…:)
Just so you know, I’ve only ever seen two scorpions in Jordan and that’s over a multitude of trips (in all seasons) across the past seven years with sleeping on the sand and walking barefoot through the desert of Wadi Rum dozens of times. Don’t stress about scorpions. Dana Reserve is pretty amazing as well. 🙂
That’s good to know . I don’t mind snakes, rats or other crawlies, but not. scorpions. I’d love to get back to Jordan and bring the whole family next time. They were kinda mad I went without them. Haha
Amazing! What a beautiful place to hike. Thinking about this place being occupied and busy is intense.
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OMG I love these photos – Thanks for a lovely blogsite
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