Petra, Capital City Header
PETRA
 
Arriving at Petra
 
The Walk Into Petra
 
The Siq
 
The Small Siq
 
Treasury
 
Street of Facades
 
Water Works
 
The Theater
 
The Royal Tombs
 
High Place
 
Colonnade Street
 
Great Temple
 
Temple of Al Uzza
 
Temple of Dushares
 
The Museum 
 
The Dier 
 
Al Habis
 
Um Al-Biera
 
Jebal Haroun
 
City of Board Games
 
Snake Monument
 
Sabara Suburb
 
City Walls/Map
 
Al Beidha
 
Al Beidha Village
 
Churches
 
Kubtha High Place
 
Wadi Nmeir 
 
Small Delights
 
The Bedul
 
Petra Today 
 
Petra Park
 
Is Petra the
Holy City of Islam?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 PETRA: The High Place
also known as Robinson's High Place

High Place Altars
The High Place is located at the very top of a mountain. If you want to see it, you will have to climb up there.
 Stairs to High Place The main steps to the high place start just before the amphitheater. The picture on the right is looking down onto the tent beside the stairs. People are starting up the stairs for the assent to the High Place. Everyone seems to have a different count but the general consensus is that it is over eight hundred. If you are adventurous you can always take a donkey ride, but watch those corners! Below: Your destination 700 steps up the mountain!
Stairs to High Place As you climb the steps take some time to look around. Near the bottom of the stairs there appears to be some exposure platforms. Farther up the stairs, one can trace where the ancient stairs and processional path must have gone. As you walk imagine what it must have been like to have been in an ancient procession with colorful priests, musical instruments, and animals bearing the wood to burn the offering. One thing is for sure, incense was probably part of the ancient form of worship.
 oblisks

 Left: Obelisk near the mountain top.

As you reach the top of the mountain you will come to what is known as Attuf Ridge. On this ridge are two obelisks, such as are found in India.

oblisks They are carved out of solid rock and are over 6 meters high. They have been noted as Nabataean as one of them still has the typical Nabataean style of haching (etching) on the side that is protected from the prevailing winds. The picture on the right is taken from higher up looking down at the two obelisks. Notice how the mountain has been cleared away and a flat surface surrounds the obelisks. 

Obilks
As you reach the top of the mountain you will come to what is known as Attuf Ridge. On this ridge are two obelisks, such as are found in India. They are carved out of solid rock and are over 6 meters high. They have been noted as Nabataean as one of them still has the typical Nabataean style of haching (etching) on the side that is protected from the prevailing winds. The picture on the right is taken from higher up looking down at the two obelisks. Notice how the mountain has been cleared away and a flat surface surrounds the obelisks.
 Crusader Fort

 The Crusader Fort

On the north side of the Attuf Ridge is a huge pile of stones and the remains of an ancient wall. This is all that remains of an crusader castle. Often, as I have climbed through these ruins to continue up to the high place, I have wondered where the crusaders got all their stones from.

fort wall
Most certainly they came from the Attuf Ridge where the Nabataeans carved away the mountain side to make the Obelisks. But one does wonder what the Nabataeans used the stones for. What temple or structure stood on this site, and afforded the crusaders so many wonderful stones to build their fortress with?
Altar Some people find the high place disappointing, while others find it delighting. A lot depends on how much you know about ancient worship. This high place has a large pool where rain water was collected and available for the priests. In front of the alter was a large open court (14.4 X 6.4 meters) with a strange ridge in the middle where something must have stood. Against the cliff are two alters. (Seen on the left. Yes, it does rain in Petra!)

High Place Drawing
The alter on the far side may have been used for blood. As animals were sacrificed the blood was drained onto this altar. It appears to have run around the outside of the altar and then down the mountain.

Burning Altar

The main alter was for the burnt sacrifice. It contains several small steps and a niche where the fire could have been used. However, there are no evidences of fire at their altar or the other altars around Petra. Built into the two altars are wash basins.

Were there ever human sacrifices at Petra? There is no hard evidence but there is a Nabataean inscription at Meda'in Saleh which reads "abd-Wadd, priest of Eadd, and his son Salim, and Zayd-Wadd, have consecrated the young man Salim to be immolated to Dhu Gabat.

 blood altar
Their double happiness. The god Al Uzza is also known to have received the sacrifice of boys and girls. In particular, the pagan philosopher Porphyrius states that once a year a boy's throat was sacrificially cut at the oasis of Dumat some two hundred miles from Petra.
Lion Monument When we first visited this site in 1980 with American researcher and author Bob Boyd (Baal Worship in Old Testament Days, Vernon Martin, Lancaster Penna, 1966) he explained to us his theory that the blood needed to reach the mouth of the Lion Monument farther down the mountain, before the sacrifice was acceptable. We have tried to trace this route several times but have had difficulty connecting it.
 Soldiers Tomb Left: The Soldiers Tomb.
 Soldiers Tomb Dinning Room  Across from the Soldiers Tomb is a very ornaite dinning room. 

View from the High Place
Even on a rainy day, the view from the high place, down on the Royal Tombs is spectacular.

Red Rocks
On the way down the mountain, you pass a number of important tombs. Note the color in the rocks as you come down to the Garden Tomb. To the right of this tomb was a large dam that provided water for an ancient garden that decorated the front of this monument.