Petra (that means rock in Greek) refers to an archaeological site in Arabah, Jordan, and is renowned for its rock-cut architecture. It is positioned on the Mount Hor slopes in a basin in the midst of the mountains that become the eastern edge of Arabah (Wadi Araba), which is a huge valley that stretches from the Dead Sea up to the Gulf of Aqaba. John William Burgon’s Newdigate prize-winning sonnet describes it as ‘a rose-red city half as old as time’.
In accordance to the Dead Sea scrolls that linked with the Mount Seir, find mention of Pertra as the ancient city named Rekem. In addition to this, Eusebius as well as Jerome emphasize that Rekem was the colloquial name given to Petra. Some scholars are of the view that this site was a capital of the Aramaic-speaking Semites, Nabataeans, as well as the focal point of their caravan trade. This possessed the benefit of a fort as well as controlling the main trade routes owing to the enclosure formed by the gigantic rocks and the continuing water stream around it.
Until 1812, this beautiful archaeological site remained unknown to the Western World. It was with the efforts of the Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt that is was globally acknowledged in the 1812. One of the most precious cultural properties of a man’s cultural heritage’ is how UNESCO described this site, and in the year 1985 declared it as a World Heritage Site.
The site of Petra finds its place amongst the New Seven Wonders of the World that determined by the New Open World Corporation and is in no way associated with UNESCO.