Everything about Petra- the Siq, Jordan

Impressions from Petra

In a previous article we spoke here about 8 places that you must see in and nearby Israel, one of them is Petra- The Siq. The Siq affords the most dramatic entrance into Petra. This deep narrow gone all but shutting out sunlight, twists almost imperceptibly downward untflj it abruptly opens into a bright square where the Treasury stands in all its glory. Since ancient times, the Siq has led traders and travelers into the heart of the Nabataean world. Modern-day explorers start at the village of Wadi Musa, from where the way leads half a mile through a valley flanked by sandstone known as Bab el-Siq“Gateway to the Gorge” carved with votive niches, a prelude to the abundance of tombs and sculptuj and shows Egypt fashioned out of the rock face by the Nabataeans all over their hidden city.

Best sights of Petra

1.Visitors’ Center

The new Visitors’ Center sells entry tickets to the site, and arranges licensed guides in various languages. It also provides brochures and maps. A shop here sells Jordanian handicrafts and gifts, some of which are made by a local women’s organization.


2. Djinn Blocks

Petra has 26 of these carved stone blocks, which, according to Arabic folklore, housed djinns (malevolent spirits), but are probably tower tombs. Three mono­liths are located where the Bab el-Siq narrow.


3. Bab el-Siq Triclinium

On the south face of the Bab el-Siq, this tomb exhibits the Nabataean Classical style. Like many tombs in Petra, it serva as dining chamber and was used to host feasts in honor of the dead.


4. Obelisk Tomb

This tomb stands above the Triclinium and shows Egyptian influences in the four obelisks that line its front.


5. Entrance to the Siq

In the past, a monumental arch spanned the entrance to the Siq. It collapsed in 1896, leaving only the remains of the supporting structure and pilasters carved into the rock face , best seen on the south side.


6. Nabataean Pavements

Paving stones were laid along the Siq, probably in the 1 st century AD. An extensive section is found near the Niche monument.


7. Water Channels

The Nabataeans were highly skilled hydraulic engineers, and devised sophisticated systems for water conservation and flood prevention. The Siq has two water channels, fed by springs to supply Petra with water.


8. Nabataean Graffiti

Carved into the walls of the Siq, graffiti and inscriptions demonstrate the literacy of the Nabataeans. Names and greetings in Latin, Greek, and Aramaic reveal the cosmopolitan nature of their society.


9. View of the Treasury

As the Siq winds down to its darkest and narrowest point, a sliver in the sandstone gorge suddenly unveils the rose-pink glow of the Treasury . This first view of the monument is a humbling experience.


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