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Rock manipulation techniques[edit]

Can anyone please elaborate on the techniques used to work with the rock? This is more of a science question. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:08, 17 January 2012 (UTC)


Removed "kabah" statement, as the Kabah is absolutely NOT worshiped by Muslims.

I am not sure that the Category:Roman towns and cities is suitable for this city, as it simple was not :) Romans passed by the city, it was under the Roman Empire at some point, but it was build long before the Roman Empire entered the region, and it have a totally different architectural style than Roman cities. I am no expert, but this is how I see it. -- Isam 01:46, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The Romans used it as an administrative center and built temples, a street grid, and a Roman-style theater. From the second century until its abandonment the city was almost completely Romanized (and later, Byzantinized). Fishal 20:44, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Museum exhibit[edit]

The Cincinnati Art Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio has an exhibit of artifacts on display as of 10/25/04. There is a traveling museum show of two aspects of Petra. Petra, Lost City of Stone (archeology) and The Bedouin Tribes of Petra, Photographs 1986-2003 by Vivian Ronay. This show is currently at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa and will be there until January 2007. Prior to this it was at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary.

Petra in Biblical prophecy[edit]

I question the necessity of the following statement: "There is even some speculation that some Christians have been slipping Bibles and many essential survival items into Petra in preparation for that moment." It seems extremely speculative and unnecessary. I have been to Petra recently and saw nothing to corroborate this statement. - Cybjorg 15:07, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

I changed the title to better reflect the subject of the section: The Speculative Future of Petra. The Bible never mentions Petra in the end times, and to use such a title simply reflects scholarly conjecture. I also removed the following controversial line:

There is even some speculation that some Christians have been slipping Bibles and many essential survival items into Petra in preparation for that moment.

Cybjorg 13:42, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Is it included in this article that in the book of Isaiah the Bible prophesied that Petra would fall and that wild animals would dwell there, as they do now. Invmog (talk) 18:41, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Not helpful for this particular article.
There is no way to prove that what Isaiah was talking about was a city that had not yet been built.
Even if it could be proven, so what to this article? Says more about Isaiah than it does about Petra. It would be off WP:TOPIC.
The way that prophets and scripture are selected are as follows: a) "Tom" predicts that City X will fall before the year 200, "Dick" says it will fall after the year 1000, "Harry" says it will fall after the year 2000. If it fell in 1500, we throw out Tom's and Harry's predictions. We know now that they were not inspired. We think Dick is inspired. There is a potential fallacy here. I suppose the bible avoids this by Isaiahs followers writing down everything and not just what they remembered as being correct. We can hope anyway. Student7 (talk) 15:31, 7 December 2009 (UTC)


Does anyone know the coordinates of Petra?

30° 19' 22.55" N, 35° 26' 49.99" E. This is a location between the Roman Theater and the High Place of Sacrifice. The main gate (visitor's entrance) is located at 30° 19' 23.90" N, 35° 28' 3.00" E. - Cybjorg 21:55, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Link to Burgon's "Rose-Red" poem[edit]

Removed the Dispensationalist commentary[edit]

"Left Behind" is a work of fiction and references to it in this should be noted, but not over-explained. Fans of that work of fiction should look elsewhere for such explanations.

Petra in movies and popular culture[edit]

The "movies and popular culture" section currently includes these items:

These items do not have anything to do with the archaeological site Petra; they just happen to have the same name. That makes them fair game for the Petra (disambiguation) page, and in fact two of them were already listed there. I have just added the third one (the musical play) after editing out some non-NPOV language.

But these three items don't belong in this article, and I am deleting them. [[User:Pat Berry|Pat Berry]] 06:02, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

The first reference is VERY interesting, because the play takes PLACE in ancient Petra...(Fairuz plays Queen Shaqilat, mother of King Rabbel, the last king of Petra before Roman acquisition.) i agree however with the remainder of u'r assessment concerning the last two references. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 7 September 2006 (UTC)
  • It was definitely used in one of the laste scenes of Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade. --Rubik's Cube 20:35, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Re: The Trivia template in the article I suggest removing the section and adding to "Petra today" a sentence like: "The picturesque site is a popular sight and featured in various works of art such as the movies Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Passion in the Desert and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, the Sisters of Mercy-Video "Dominion", the game Spy Hunter, or the novels Left Behind and Appointment with Death." Comments please, if none come, I'll change the article as proposed in a week. Eliot Stearns 09:25, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Done. Eliot Stearns 21:57, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

In regards to the template I added[edit]

I added this template because it asks critical questions, constantly cites evidence, and otherwise sounds like a high school history textbook. It might even be straight from one. While the information here is good, the language used in this article is almost pretentious. Or plagiarized. For example:

It is thought that a position of such natural strength must have been occupied early, but we have no means of telling exactly when the history of Petra began. The evidence seems to show that the city was of relatively late foundation, though a sanctuary (see below) may have existed there from very ancient times. This part of the country was assigned by tradition to the Horites, i.e. probably cave-dwellers, the predecessors of the Edomites;[1]the habits of the original natives may have influenced the Nabataean custom of burying the dead and offering worship in half-excavated caves. But that Petra itself is mentioned in the Old Testament cannot be affirmed with certainty; for though Petra is usually identified with Sela, which also means a rock, the Biblical references[2] are far from clear. 2 Kings xiv. 7 seems to be more explicit; in the parallel passage, however, Sela is understood to mean simply "the rock" (2 Chr. xxv. 12, see LXX). Hence many authorities doubt whether any town named Sela is mentioned in the Old Testament.

What, then, did the Semitic inhabitants call their city? Eusebius and Jerome (Onom. sacr. 286, 71. 145, 9; 228, 55. 287, 94), apparently on the authority of Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews iv. 7, 1~ 4, 7), assert that Rekem was the native name, and Rekem certainly appears in the Dead Sea Scrolls as a prominent Edom site most closely describing Petra.

The first paragraph here has a first person statement "... but we have...". And it also constantly cites its evidence, even though Wikipedia articles all should have their evidence and sources at the bottom. The second paragraph starts with that useless question. Lord GS-41 15:41, 14 March 2007 (UTC)


They wrote in Aramaic in the earlier phases of their history, but does that make them Aramaic-speaking? They had Arabic names, for one thing, and the Wikipedia article on Nabataeans says: "This Aramaic dialect was increasingly affected by the Arabic dialect of the local population. From the 4th century AD, the Arabic influence becomes overwhelming, in a way that it may be said the Nabataean language shifted seamlessly from Aramaic to Arabic. The Arabic alphabet itself developed out of cursive variants of the Nabataean script in the 5th century.". Slacker 17:13, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

That part of the article is quoting sources from biblical times, when they were Aramaic-speaking. --HughCharlesParker (talk - contribs) 21:08, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

The inhabitants of Petra clearly were speaking Aramaic in the early days. But the Nabatu as they called themselves as well spoke and wrote an Aramaic dialect, Nabataean. During the later stages of the hellenistic period especially 1st century BC greek also gets attested more frequently. Arabic which is a semitic language as well, comes quite a bit later. (talk) 19:33, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Petra is one of the new Seven[edit]

I can see there's disagreement about whether this is important enough to go in the article, or if it's just another of the many corporate promotions involving Petra. It would be really helpful if, here on the talk page, you could offer some of the big media coverage associated with the "new Seven" and show that the list is truly of international importance. -FisherQueen (Talk) 12:37, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Have a look at the conversation on It is dealing with the same topic. The new7wonders wikipedia entry classed this event as a scam. So how does it make sense to pollute other, worthwhile, entries with this and replace things like "UNESCO world heritage site" with "being named as one of the world's seven wonders" (with no mention of it being the classical, real, ones or this commercial event) - DanniellaWB 13:38, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

To say there is no global importance is to keep our eyes closed to international events. For example lets see the articles on it on BBC alone. BBC Pictures, BB Video and the news itself. I do see the point raised by people saying that the ratings are based on financial gains, but isnt that the same with Forbes and others of those kind and dont we have those mentioned on top of the articles on wikipedia? Lets be fair. Cheers ώiki Ѕαи Яоzε †αLҝ 12:44, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

It does not belong in the lead section, but is an event related to the modern history of the site and I have no problem mentioning it in an appropriate location. Putting it in the lead gives it undue weight. It is not equivalent to being a UNESCO site in any meaningful way. IPSOS (talk) 13:53, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Oops, I didnt read this before inserting it on the lead. You probably right but seems neither the UNESCO is mentioned on the lead Jor70 14:49, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
UNESCO and this new thing are completely different. It is entirely appropriate to mention UNESCO in the lead. It is well established, has been recognized for decades, and is not a sensationalist publicity stunt! IPSOS (talk) 14:51, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree , then, why the UNESCO is not mentioned in the lead ? --Jor70 14:54, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Don't know. Thought it was but clearly I was confusing this article with another. Feel free to add it or I will later. IPSOS (talk) 14:57, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
I've included it, I could've sworn it was there some months ago. Thanks for the assistance btw. Cheers, DanniellaWB 15:14, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Y're welcome --Jor70 18:14, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

News story[edit]

New pic of end of siq? Is it good?[edit]

The end of the siq, Petra, Jordan

I shot this picture 6-2007 at the end of the siq. It's a lot higher res - and has better color than the one up on the page now. Here for everyone's consideration. --KasemO 04:32, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Added link to database[edit]

Hi, I added a link to the database of excavations at the Great Temple. The content was developed by researchers and has a Creative Commons license. Due disclosure: I helped create that database. If anyone thinks the link shouldn't be there, please remove it, but it seems relevant to me, even though I'm an interested party. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:45, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Religion in Petra[edit]

I just finished watching a documentary on the discovery channel on Petra, and they said they found little figurines of Aphrodite in the tombs and that it was a hellenistic culture. This seems to contrast with the article that claims they worshipped Arabic Gods, which is strange as from the rest of the article the culture is clearly hellenistic. -- (talk) 07:54, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

I think this could have been vandalized[edit]

Sorry, I'm new to this and I could have done some mistakes, but the Petra article was using those templates

  • Template:Multi-video start
  • Template:Multi-video item
  • Template:Multi-video end

that caused the page to be quite out of wikipedia standards....

HTH, --Giupo777 (talk) 15:07, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Display problems[edit]

Does anyone know why the article currently displays with all the other-language wiki articles as red links? It shows up properly when you press on the most recent version from the history page, but not when you go to the article directly. NoCal100 (talk) 18:05, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

The Rekem inscription[edit]

This inscription is illus. in the article. The following text has been repeatedly deleted:

The only place in Petra where the name "Rekem" occurs was in the rock wall of the Wadi Musa opposite the entrance to the Siq. About twenty years ago the Jordanians built a bridge over the wadi and this inscription is now buried beneath tons of concrete.
Brünnow thinks that "the rock" in question was the sacred mountain en-Nejr (above). But Buhl suggests a conspicuous height about 16 miles (26 km) north of Petra, Shobak, the Mont-royal of the Crusaders, aka Montreal.

In this, "Brünnow" refers to Rudolf-Ernst Brünnow, who, with von Domaszewski, made an early attempt at classification of Petra's architecture. "Buhl" referes to Frants Buhl Geschichte der Edomiter (Leipzig, 1893). Someone seems in haste to suppress this text. Blanking isn't editing. --Wetman (talk) 23:13, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

There's nothing wrong with the inscription but the "buried by the Jordanians beneath tons of rock" really needs some sort of WP:FOOT.Student7 (talk) 00:29, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Eh, when was it built?[edit]

With a case of a subject like this, one thing pretty much anyone reading the article is going to want to know is: when were the buildings constructed? It should be right in the lead, or otherwise easily discoverable early in the article. The History section here is full of info, but damned if I could find a simple statement along the lines of, "Current estimates place the construction of Petra from ____ to _____ BC." In fact, the History section overall seems too focused on sources and not focused enough on presenting a clear, approachable narrative. —Preceding unsigned comment added by NonsuchDan (talkcontribs) 22:01, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Most of the buildings are 1st century BCE, the info box says 1200BC and links to the Jordan tourist office site which says the first evidence of inhabitants was 1200bc. This has nothing to do with the site as it is now, it's like describing the Tower of London as 50,000 BC because Neanderthal remains were found on the site. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:51, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

More references needed[edit]

There a lot more references needed in this article. The history section is particularly short of them and is full of POV statements such as "More satisfactory evidence of the date of the earliest Nabataean settlement may be obtained from an examination of the tombs". Who says this evidence is more satisfactory? The paragraph then goes on to say: "Two types may be distinguished—the Nabataean and the Greco-Roman. The Nabataean type starts from the simple pylon-tomb with a door set in a tower crowned by a parapet ornament, in imitation of the front of a dwelling-house." There is no corroboration of this by references and so it could be a completely wrong interpetation. Articles in wikipedia are supposed to be verifiable. Also, the Geography section tells you were the treasury and the theatre are located but there is no mention of the Monastery although it is supposed to be the largest building. It also says "at the foot of the mountain called en-Nejr, is a massive theatre, so placed as to bring the greatest number of tombs within view" What tombs? - they haven't been mentioned before. Richerman (talk) 13:32, 6 March 2009 (UTC)


Can someone explain to me why this article is under the Wikiproject Christianity? The people of Petra were hellenized or at least pagans right? Sure, there is some info in the article about Petra being mentioned in the Bible but it's from the Old Testament and related to Judaism, not Christianity. What is the relation to the wikiproject and what info does this article provide to the topic of the wikiproject. (talk) 05:44, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

I presume because of the bit under religion which says

Christianity found its way into Petra in the 4th century AD, nearly 500 years after the establishment of Petra as a trade center. Athanasius mentions a bishop of Petra (Anhioch. 10) named Asterius. At least one of the tombs (the "tomb with the urn"?) was used as a church. An inscription in red paint records its consecration "in the time of the most holy bishop Jason" (447). The Christianity of Petra, as of north Arabia, was swept away by the Islamic conquest of 629–632. During the First Crusade Petra was occupied by Baldwin I of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and formed the second fief of the barony of Al Karak (in the lordship of Oultrejordain) with the title Château de la Valée de Moyse or Sela. It remained in the hands of the Franks until 1189. It is still a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church.[13]

It also says under the wikiproject banner above that it is supported by the Syriac Christianity work group, which is particularly interested in eastern Christianity. The fact that a project takes a passing interest in an article doesn't really mean very much - many articles have multiple wikiproject banners on them because they have various elements of interest to different groups. Richerman (talk) 12:37, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, Richerman is on target. Petra is significant to Christians, just as the Old Testament is, and articles in these areas are of interest to Wikipedia editors who work in the area of Christianity. The project banner is not a topic of discussion in the article, it is only a matter of convenience for editors who specialize in these areas. --KP Botany (talk) 21:39, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Correct translation of Greek πέτρα[edit]

The Greek word πέτρα simply means rock, not cleft in the rock. Reviewing this article's history shows that this spurious translation was added January 2009 by an editor (Rktect) who was blocked soon afterward for "disruptive editing." Before that edit, the translation had been given correctly as simply rock. I am going to remove the spurious and wholly incorrect "cleft in the."--Jim10701 (talk) 05:55, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for catching that!Student7 (talk) 12:40, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Are Sela' and Petra really the same?[edit]

I was of the understanding that Petra and Sela' were not one and the same place. Sela' being a sort of natural fort (close to the old Edomite capital of Busheira) used when being attacked (for example the Macedonians in 312BC), described as being a large flat rock on which the defenders took place and that was only mountable by a narrow stairway like path. While Petra lies in the center surrounded by large rocks (which is quite the opposite), and while accessed by one small entrance as well, the suq, it really doesn't seem to fit the description.

Doing a quick search it seems that seems to agree. will try to reference an Academic work in the future to back this statement up. Of course a lot of work just writes and assumes that petra and sela are the same, I guess it's just a common mistake based on outdated information due to a lack of research in many books. (talk) 19:49, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Forgot the linky: (talk) 19:53, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Arabic architecture?[edit]

I removed the category:Arabic Architecture. reason is, this is an ancient site. and what is usually called Arabic architecture dates from the seventh century.Broad Wall (talk) 12:24, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

"Unsustainable" Tourism[edit]

The reference provided for this claim (16) doesn't seem to say anything about unsustainable tourism in Petra. (talk) 11:01, 10 January 2011 (UTC)


In the article I see that the Romans, Byzantines (admittedly not Westerners under some definitions), and Crusaders knew of Petra. So in what sense can a Westerner have discovered or rediscovered it in 1812? It seems akin to saying that a British travel writer "rediscovered" Vietnam in 2003 by writing about it in a magazine and making it an object of interest again. (talk) 14:42, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Century old EB material in history[edit]

I've just fixed a problem with the article where Mada'in Saleh was identified by an almost untraceable name. There's a serious problem in that a large chunk of the history comes from a 1911 encyclopedia. Not only are encyclopedias bad sources for history - they almost always represent one author's understanding, this is far too old, but it's only been tweaked since it was added in 2002.[1]. Dougweller (talk) 11:20, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

And the Walls Come Tumblin' Down[edit]

Does anyone have verifiable information on the recent (2015) threat to Petra by triumphant terrorists/Islamicist invaders? Recent network news broadcasts implied that the same fate as had befallen other archaeological sites overrun -- mass defacement so as to impose Mohammedan strictures against certain images -- was in process against the architecture at Al-Batrā. A tragedy, if true...! While one ought not automatically assume such evil acts ARE true without data, it should surprise no one if proven. Again -- anybody have verifiable info? (talk) 04:31, 23 July 2015 (UTC) (talk) 04:30, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Arab Nabateans[edit]

@Doug Weller: The Nabateans were Arab, [2]. And I put this because there are some people who mistake the Greek name of Petra into thinking that Petra was built by the Greeks.--Makeandtoss (talk) 19:26, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

I've looked into this a bit more and it seems to be the general consensus. It never occurred to me that people might think they were Greek. Petra's a lovely place, I'm lucky to have been there. Doug Weller (talk) 21:51, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
It is. But in the past few days I was shocked to hear that some Europeans thought it was made by Greeks!--Makeandtoss (talk) 22:07, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

Early mosques faced Petra[edit]

Dan Gibson's book Qur'anic Geography indicates through mapping that early mosques faced Petra, not Mecca. Islam came from Petra, not Mecca. Should this be a heading?

Find this discussion below under "Dan Gibson". --IbnTufail (talk) 17:50, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

Deleted text and where it was copied from[edit]

"More satisfactory[dubious ] evidence of the date of the earliest Nabataean settlement may be obtained from an examination of the tombs. Two types of tombs have been distinguished: the Nabataean and the Greco-Roman. The Nabataean type starts from the simple pylon-tomb with a door set in a tower crowned by a parapet ornament, in imitation of the front of a dwelling-house. Then, after passing through various stages, the full Nabataean type is reached, retaining all the native features and at the same time exhibiting characteristics which are partly Egyptian and partly Greek. Of this type close parallels exist in the tomb-towers at Mada'in Saleh in north Arabia, which bear long Nabataean inscriptions and supply a date for the corresponding monuments at Petra. Then comes a series of tomb fronts which terminate in a semicircular arch, a feature derived from north Syria. Finally come the elaborate façades copied from the front of a Roman temple; however, all traces of native style have vanished. The exact dates of the stages in this development cannot be fixed. Few inscriptions of any length have been found at Petra, perhaps because they have perished with the stucco or cement which was used upon many of the buildings. The simple pylon-tombs which belong to the pre-Hellenic age serve as evidence for the earliest period. It is not known how far back in this stage the Nabataean settlement goes, but it does not go back farther than the 6th century BC." is from the 1911 EB.[3]

A period follows in which the dominant civilization combines Greek, Egyptian and Syrian elements, clearly pointing to the age of the Ptolemies. Towards the close of the 2nd century BC, when the Ptolemaic and Seleucid kingdoms were equally depressed, the Nabataean kingdom came to the front. Under Aretas III Philhellene, (c.85–60 BC), the royal coins begin. The theatre was probably excavated at that time, and Petra must have assumed the aspect of a Hellenistic city. In the reign of Aretas IV Philopatris, (9 BC–40 AD), the tombs of the el-I~ejr[clarification needed] type may be dated, and perhaps also the High-place. is copied from the same source or the 1926 version[4] or een a later version.[5] Copying broke some the text so that "el Hejr" which is Mada'in Saleh became "el-I~ejr". All of this was easy to find. We have a lot of articles with material from the EB1911 but I'm not happy with that. On the other hand, this article clearly states in the references that "This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press." Doug Weller talk 12:15, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Dan Gibson[edit]

Does anyone other than Lecker discuss Gibson Doug Weller talk 14:20, 22 October 2016 (UTC)'s ideas about Petra?

There is a brief but critical review by Daniel C. Waugh in the 2012 issue of The Silkroad Journal. AstroLynx (talk) 15:34, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
Interesting. Also this review does avoid any direct rejection of Gibson's claim. Also this review makes a lot of noise about Gibson's mistakes in the surroundings of his central claim, yet shows some cluelessness concerning the central question. I wish that established academics would set up a project to test Gibson's hypotheses. It is about numbers, and it is about soil examination. It cannot be so difficult. But exactly that this does not happen is the real scandal, in my humble opinion. Gibson puts sound pressure on a veeery reluctant academia.
Back to Wikipedia criteria: The public, non-academic attention drawn on the topic by Gibson can be a justification to mention him, and that the reviews do not outright reject his central claim, too. If Gibson is successful to place his TV docu on known TV stations, there will be a certain duty to mention him to set things straigt for the public: Yes, Gibson has an interesting idea, but no, he has also major flaws, and his central idea is not yet academically verified (or falsified). --IbnTufail (talk) 17:30, 22 October 2016 (UTC)