Top Ten Archaeological Ruins

Europe & Africa: Petra, Jordan

One of the never-to-be forgotten sites on the planet is without a doubt Petra, the jewel of Jordan. The Petra Basin boasts over 800 spectacular buildings that were mostly carved from the sandstone by the Nabataeans. Technical and artistic geniuses, they created soaring temples, burial chambers, royal tombs, water channels and reservoirs, baths, staircases, cultic installations, markets, arched gates, and public buildings, all of which still stand today. Over 3,000 years ago, the Nabataean Arabs settled in Jordan and grew rich and powerful partly because their capital, Petra, was the hub for trading with Rome and China. But when the trade routes were diverted, the Nabataeans lost their hold on the ancient world and Petra faded into oblivion. For many centuries thereafter its archaeological importance and exact location remained hidden until it was uncovered by an Englishman in 1861.


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