Petra (in present-day Jordan) was the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom for most of its history until the Roman Emperor Trajan created the province of Arabia in 106 C.E., annexed the Nabataean kingdom, and moved the capital of this new province to Bosra (also spelt Bostra) in what is today modern southern Syria. Most of Petra’s great tombs and buildings were built before the Roman Empire annexed it in 106 C.E.

Petra: UNESCO Siq Project
The Siq, Petra’s canyon entrance, is cracking. The cliffs threaten to fall, and scientists race to find a solution.

Petra: UNESCO Siq Project

So-called Great Temple, Petra (Jordan) (photo: Dennis Jarvis, CC BY-SA 2.0)
These structures could only have been made in Petra, where Greek and eastern traditions were combined.

Petra: urban metropolis

So-called Monastery, or ed-Deir, Petra (Jordan) (photo: April Rinne, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
More than tombs? Scholars once thought Petra was only a large necropolis, but archaeology shows it was much more.

Petra: rock-cut façades