News from Petra, Jordan's jawdropping jewel

Pretty big news in the archaeology world recently, and it has to do with this legendary site tucked into the sandstone canyons of a valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba – one of those places, in fact, you could almost believe was invented as a set for an exotic Indiana Jones movie. While Petra did in fact make a key and dramatic appearance in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, this is no film set. Instead, this fabled UNESCO World Heritage Site is a city hewn out of the living rock, with a history stretching back to the 2nd century AD but abandoned around the 7th century AD and lost to the outside world until the 19th century. Truly one of the wonders of the world in every sense, and popular as an overnight excursion and even day trip from both Jordan’s capital Amman and Israel cities like Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (an hour’s drive away). The city known to its founders, the Arab Nabateans, as Raqeem covers 102 square miles (264 sq. kilometers) tucked behind towering red sandstone formations amidst... keep reading

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