Inhabited since prehistoric times, this Nabataean caravan-city, situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea the rock-cut capital city of the Nabateans, became during Hellenistic and Roman times a major caravan centre for the incense of Arabia, the silks of China and the spices of India, a crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia.
The Lost City (Petra) is half-built, half- carved into the rock, and is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. An ingenious water management system allowed extensive settlement of an essentially arid area during the Nabataean, Roman and Byzantine periods.
It is one of the world's richest , famous and largest archaeological sites set in a dominating red sandstone landscape where ancient Eastern traditions blend with Hellenistic architecture.
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