The ancient city of Petra is one of Jordan’s national treasures and by far its best known tourist attraction. Petra is the legacy of the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled in southern Jordan more than 2,000 years ago. Admired then for its refined culture, massive architecture and ingenious complex of dams and water channels, Petra is a UNESCO World Heritages Site and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Inhabited by the Nabateans, Edomites and Romans, Petra brought together the knowledge and skill of these civilizations to create this world wonder. Caravans laden with incense, silks, spices and other exotic goods would rest at Petra.
LITTLE PETRA “BEIDAH”
It is thought to have been occupied from 7200BC to 6500BC, which makes it one of the first settled villages in human history. Around that time the settlement burned down, and was rebuild. After its reconstruction,
it was only inhabited for a short while, before being totally abandonned.
Remains of the houses and a retaining wall are still visible today.
They are remnants of one of the first transitions from semi-settled nomads to settled villagers and the start of an agrarian economy.
At the Beidha Neolithic site, you can view scientific reconstructions of what the Neolithic dwellings may have looked like.
Excavated in the 1950’s and 1960’s by Diane Kirkbride and is located within the protected area of the Petra Archaeological Park. This site, holds one of the oldest settlements in Jordan.
During this period hunters and gatherers lived seasonally in this fertile and sheltered area.
During the Neolithic period, between 8,330 and 7,000 B.C., a permanent village of farmers occupied Beidha and began the practice of agricultural and herding of domesticated goats and sheep.
Many of the concepts and practices that we use today in agrarian societies started in small settlements such as these. The settlers lived in round houses that although easy to construct, had a serious drawback – it was difficult to add a room to a round structure and a struggle for a solution is visible.
Located at the main tourist street and only three minute walk from the main gate to Petra. Opening Times are seven days a week throughout the year from 8:30am until 7:30pm
It contains 280 artifacts, dating back to different ages, the exhibition consists of five halls showing the history of Petra and information about the nabatean’s life and their civilization.
PETRA BY NIGHT
To visit Petra during daylight is awe-inspiring; to experience it at night by the light of 1,800 candles is truly out-of-this-world! Walk through the Siq to the Treasury (Al-Khazneh) following a candle-lit path and enjoy the haunting music of the Bedouins at the Treasury. Tours start at 8.30pm and finish at 10.00pm every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Allow yourself plenty of time to walk through the Siq – you don’t want to miss the show!