The first of the so called Royal Tombs
is the Urn Tomb. This tomb is built high on the mountain side,
and requires climbing up a number of flights of stairs. Abbe'
Starcky has suggested that this is the tomb of Nabataean King
Malchus II who died in 70 AD. Dr. Schmidt-Colinet on the other
hand has proposed that this is the tomb of Aretas IV.
- To see a high resolution picture of the Urn Tomb,
taken by James Wong of Vancouver, Canada click the thumbnail
||Along the side of the front courtyard
are a line of columns. The door to the main chamber is rather
eroded on the bottom, but the lines are still quite visible.
Far above the door are three burial chambers.
||The main chamber is very large
and impressive. Along the back wall are three asps, constructed
when the tomb was converted into a church.
||On the rear wall is an inscription
recording the consecration of the tomb as a church and cathedral
by Bishop Jason in 447 AD.
||Beside the Urn Tomb is a small
tomb known as the Silk Tomb. This name comes from the rich color
of the sandstone. IT is one of the most dramatically colored
tombs in Petra.
||The Corinthian Tomb comes next.
It is very worn, but if one stops to examine it, it is very ornate
and similar to the Treasury.
The Palace Tomb is very wide, and
has three distinct stories in it's facade. Supposedly, it is
similar to the Roman palace design of the Golden House of Nero.
In front of the tomb is a large stage and in front of this a
large courtyard. It is almost as if the Palace Tomb was designed
as a backdrop for State funerals.
||From across the valley, one can
see the Royal Tombs standing beside each other, overlooking the