Picturing Jordan

Sharing Jordan with the world — one picture at a time.

The Grandeur of Petra

Petra's "monastery" basking in the golden light just before sunset

Petra's "monastery" basking in the golden light just before sunset

The Nabataeans were a tribe who became filthy rich on the trade of frankincense, myrrh, and spices in the Arabian peninsula around 2,000 years ago. They built Petra as the capital of their flourishing civilization. Hauntingly beautiful stone facades standing one hundred meters tall are amazingly intact and well preserved to this day.

Evolutionary biologist J. B. S. Haldane once said that “the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose,” alluding to the fact that physical sciences often raise more questions than they answer, leaving us scratching our heads. After visiting Petra I was overwhelmed with a similar feeling, that Petra is not only grander than we suppose, but grander than we can suppose. What I would give to have seen it in its time!