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Petra is an iconic, historical city situated in Jordan, between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. It is believed to have been founded as early as the 4th century BC. It is famous for its breathtaking rock-cut architecture and its deep cultural significance. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
See the fact file below for more information on the Petra or alternatively, you can download our 22-page World Heritage Sites: Petra (JORDAN) worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
History of Petra
- Around 2010 BC, Petra was mentioned by Egyptians in the Amarna letters, which were a series of archives written on clay tablets, documenting correspondence between Egyptians and other tribes around and among the Arabian desert.
- Petra was built during Indigenous rule over the area.
- Petra is a word derived from the Greek for “rock”, and represented its importance as a natural fortress and place of refuge.
- By around 106 AD, Petra became a part of the Roman Empire.
- Around the same time, the Romans built a road to Petra, and erected large gates that served as an entrance to the city.
- As a city, Petra declined over the years, and coupled with an earthquake in 365, many buildings and water management systems were destroyed, so their quality declined as well.
- Although Petra declined, it still maintained an elusive mysterious quality that many travellers and royal folk admired.
- In 1812, a Swiss traveller named Johann Ludwig Burckhardt became the first European to describe the ruins at Petra; by 1929, scholars and archaeologists began to take steps to understand and preserve the site, as it was becoming a hotspot for thieves.
- In October of 1917, T.E Lawrence, a British Army officer, led a revolt of Arabs against the Ottoman regime just before the Third Battle of Gaza; the plan was to divert the Ottomans from a British advance.
- Petra is located between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea in the sovereign Arab state of Jordan.
- It sits upon Jebel al-Madhbah, which many scholars believe to be Mount Sinai, as referenced in the bible as the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.
- It was established as the capital city of the Nabataean Kingdom.
- Petra is nestled among many rocks and has a perennial stream running through it, meaning there is water running through it year-round.
- People who visit Petra today usually do so through a grand eastern entrance, comprised of a dark, narrow gorge called the “Siq”, meaning “the Shaft” in Arabic.
- The Siq is a feature that forms naturally as a result of a deep split in the rose-colored sandstone rocks.
- In some places, the Siq measures less than 10 feet wide.
- It is said that once you travel through the Siq and approach the Al Khazneh on the other side (“the Treasury” as it is known in Arabic), you can see hundreds of small bullet holes on the face of the structure.
- These bullet holes apparently came from surrounding local tribes who were hoping to find mysterious hidden treasures that have been rumored to be hidden within it.
- A large amphitheatre was carved into the hillside of the mountain called “en-Nejr”, and it is at this point that the valley opens out into the plain, which showcases a majestic view of the site of the city.
Petra in the Media
- Petra has been mentioned in multiple pieces of literature, and has appeared in several films and TV programs.
- In 1845, John William Burgon wrote a 370 line long sonnet called Petra, which later won a writing award.
- Petra was also mentioned in the novels The Eagle in the Sand, The Adventures of Tintin, and Last Act in Palmyra.
- Films such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Mummy Returns, and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger also featured Petra.
- Petra was also featured in an episode of Departures, An Idiot Abroad, and was featured in many National Geographic and PBS shows and documentaries.
- Some video games also recreated landscapes and sites from Petra.
Threats to Petra
- The Petra National Trust (PNT) was established in 1989 in order to reduce the impact of the various threats that face the site.
- Some of these threats include: collapse of the ancient structures, improper restoration of portions of the structures, erosion due to flooding and incorrect rainwater drainage, and weathering.
- SInce Petra became one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, unsustainable tourism has also become a huge threat to the site.
- The PNT has promoted Petra as a sacred place to protect, conserve, and preserve, and the site has been an example of a threatened landscape, as outlined in various historical and archaeological management books over the past few years.
World Heritage Sites: Petra (JORDAN) Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Petra across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use World Heritage Sites: Petra (JORDAN) worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Petra which is an iconic, historical city situated in Jordan, between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. It is believed to have been founded as early as the 4th century BC. It is famous for its breathtaking rock-cut architecture and its deep cultural significance. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Petra Facts.
- Poetry Dissection.
- Pop Culture Petra.
- Petra Wordsearch.
- See, Think, Wonder.
- Unscrambling Activity.
- Petra Quiz.
- Stone Carvings.
- Petra Crossword.
- Postcard from Petra.
- Opinion Paragraph.
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Link will appear as PETRA (JORDAN) Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 25, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.