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. Click to see a larger photo by James Wong of Vancouver.

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. Click to see a larger photo by James Wong of Vancouver.


Photo by James Wong of Vancouver, Canada

Photo by James Wong of Vancouver, Canada


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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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 city.

From across the valley, one can see the Royal Tombs standing beside each other, overlooking the city.


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