Um el Beira (Biyara) is the great flat topped mountain in the back of Petra. It is possible to climb this mountain if you are good at hiking. Along the left side of the mountain is a processional way and stairs, but they are in a very ruinous state. The picture below shows the smaller Jebal Habis mountain in front of Um al Beira.


Um al Beira (Mother of Cisterns) receives it name from a series of water cisterns that are found on the top of the mountain.

Um al Beira (Mother of Cisterns) receives it name from a series of water cisterns that are found on the top of the mountain.


There are ruins of a small Edomite village on top of Um al Biera. It was once thought that this mountain was ancient Sela, but excavations have proven that this is not the case, and Sela has now been located close to Al Busheira, farther north of Petra.

There are ruins of a small Edomite village on top of Um al Biera. It was once thought that this mountain was ancient Sela, but excavations have proven that this is not the case, and Sela has now been located close to Al Busheira, farther north of Petra.


Sitting on the top of the mountain, with our feet in one of the cisterns. Note the water channels on the right of the picture.

Sitting on the top of the mountain, with our feet in one of the cisterns. Note the water channels on the right of the picture.


Dan Gibson in 1983. There is a great view of Petra from the top of Um al-Biera. This is a good time to rest and study the surrounding hills and mountains.

Dan Gibson in 1983. There is a great view of Petra from the top of Um al-Biera. This is a good time to rest and study the surrounding hills and mountains.



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