Jordan, Petra and Jerrash

The Grande Entrance into Petra. The ruins of Petra, like it’s name, are shrouded in mystery and have a combination of Roman and Arabic roots.  What is known is that they are the remains of the Nabataean’s, an Arabic people that controlled the trade of Transjordan in pre-roman days.  The Nabateans were a force in the region long before the Romans under Pompey conquered Syria and Palestine in 63 BC.  After years of using money, tribute and intrigue to hold the Romans at bay the Romans finally took the city in 106 AD.  After taking the city they built a city of colonnaded streets and roman architecture in the valley that was surrounded with grand tombs and buildings carved out of the rock.  At first sight the freestanding roman ruins seem out of place.  But on closer inspection you realize that the buildings that are hewed out of the rock cross centuries of architectural styles, many of which have strong Greek and Roman influences.

An ancient forgotten caravan enters Petra.         Ruins along the main valley        

“Petra the name is said to come from the Greek word for stone, or rock since the city itself was hollowed out of the rock.  But it may just as well have come from the Arabic ‘batara,’ meaning to cut or hew, since the city was actually carved from rock.”
        Nabil Naoum  Petra: The Stones Speak

View of the columns of Jerrash   In the snack bar, signs of a the Roman Empire of today   Steps to the Ruins

Jerrash:  Much further north of Petra is Jerrash.  The greatest Roman Ruin in Modern Day Jordan.  If a visitor to Petra doubts the Roman influence in the area a visit to the Jerrash will silence these doubts.

Back to East versus West Homepage         

About Me:  I am a History teacher who wants to transform my hobby of Travel Photography into summer employment.  If you would like to use any images in this web site in your magazine or web site;please contact me at .  I also have a large collection of photographs not included in this web site from other countires such as Mexico, Peru, Jordan, Bosnia, and  Romania.