The ancient city of Petra, in southwest Jordan, is among the most widely recognizable archaeological sites in the world. The city was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 and has more recently been popularly elected to a list of the “New Seven Wonders of the World”. Originally constructed by the Nabataeans in the late first millennium BCE and later annexed by the Roman Empire, this ancient trading hub features stunning monumental architecture, much of which is carved directly into the red sandstone cliffs for which the site is widely known. The architecture of Petra features a combination of local and classical forms (McKenzie 1990), many of the latter manifested as elaborately carved facades for cave structures in the cliffs that enclose the city. Such is the case for the numerous tombs found within the boundaries of the city, including the widely recognizable “Treasury” (Al Khazneh), which has been featured in several films including Indiana Jones and the...
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout
Purchases are for personal use onlyLearn about institutional subscriptions
Alcock, S.E., and A. Knodell. 2012. Landscapes north of and nearby Petra: The Petra Area and Wadi Silaysil survey (Brown University Petra Archaeological Project, 2010–2011). Supplement to Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 42: 5–16.
Bedal, L.-A. 2003. The Petra pool-complex. A Hellenistic paradeisos in the Nabataean capital. Piscataway: Gorgias Press.
Bedal, L.-A., K.L. Gleason, and J.G. Schryver. 2007. The Petra garden and pool complex, 2003–2005. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 51: 151–176.
Bikai, P.M., and M. Perry. 2001. Petra North Ridge Tombs 1 and 2: Preliminary report. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 324: 59–79.
Comer, D.C., ed. 2012. Tourism and archaeological heritage management at Petra: Driver to development or destruction? New York: Springer.
Conyers, L.B., E.G. Ernenwein, and L.-A. Bedal. 2002. Ground penetrating radar discovery at Petra, Jordan. Antiquity 76: 339–340.
Fiema, Z.T., and J. Frösen. 2008. Petra – the Mountain of Aaron: The Finnish archaeological project in Jordan, volume 1: The church and the chapel. Helsinki: Societas Scientiarum Fennica.
Fiema, Z.T., C. Kanellopoulos, T. Waliszewski, and R. Schick. 2001. The Petra church. Amman: American Center of Oriental Research.
Graf, D.F., L.-A. Bedal, and S.G. Schmid. 2005. The Hellenistic Petra project: Excavations in the civic center, preliminary report of the first season, 2004. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 49: 417–441.
Graf, D.F., S.G. Schmid, and E. Ronza. 2007. The Hellenistic Petra project: Excavations in the Qasr al-Bint Temenos Area: Preliminary report of the second season, 2005. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 51: 223–238.
Kirkbride, D. 1968. Beidha: Early Neolithic village life south of the Dead Sea. Antiquity 42: 263–274.
Lindner, M., and H. Genz. 2000. Five early Bronze Age sites north of Petra (Jordan) discovered in 1993–1997. In At the crossroads: Essays on the archaeology, history and current affairs of the Middle East, ed. H.D. Bienert and B. Muller-Neuhof, 47–85. Amman: German Protestant Institute of Archaeology in Amman.
Lindner, M., U. Hubner, and H. Genz. 2001. Early Bronze Age settlement on Umm Saysaban north of Petra (Jordan) and its topographical context: Report on the 1998/1999 survey. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 45: 287–310.
McKenzie, J. 1990. The architecture of Petra. Reprinted 2005. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mouton, M., F. Renel, and A. Kropp. 2008. The Hellenistic levels under the Temenos of the Qasr al-Bint at Petra. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 52: 51–71.
Ortloff, C.R. 2005. The water supply and distribution system of the Nabataean city of Petra (Jordan), 300 BC – AD 300. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 15: 93–109.
Parr, P.J. 1957. Recent discoveries at Petra. Palestine Exploration Quarterly 89: 5–16.
Parr, P.J. 1960. Excavations at Petra, 1958–59. Palestine Exploration Quarterly 92: 124–135.
Urban, T.M., S. Alcock, and C. Tuttle. 2012. Virtual discoveries at a wonder of the world: Geophysical investigations and ancient plumbing at Petra, Jordan. Antiquity 85 (331). Available at: http://antiquity.ac.uk/projgall/urban331/
Vella, C., T. Urban, E. Bocancea, C. Tuttle, and S. Alcock. 2012. Discovery and integrative documentation of early Bronze Age Jabal al-Qarn (Petra). Antiquity 86.
Wenning, R. 2001. The betyls of Petra. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 324: 79–95.
Wenning, R. 2010. The Petra Niches Project (PNP). Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 54: 271–281.
American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR). n.d. Available at: http://acorjordan.org
Association for the Understanding of Ancient Cultures (AUAC). n.d. Available at: http://auac.ch
Augé, C., and J.-M. Dentzer. 2000. Petra: Lost city of the ancient world. New York: Abrams.
Bessac, J.-C. 2007. Le travail de la pierre à Pétra. Technique et économie de la taille rupestre. Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations.
Brown University Petra Archaeological Project (BUPAP). n.d. Available at: http://proteus.brown.edu/bupap/Home
Byrd, B.F., and J. Field. 1989. The Natufian encampment at Beidha: Late Pleistocene adaptation in the southern Levant. Aarhus: Jutland Archaeological Society.
Crawford, G.A. 2003. Petra and the Nabataeans: A bibliography. ATLA Bibliography series 49. Lanham: Scarecrow Press.
Jansson, J. 2002. From the Acheulean to Aretas: The Petra area in prehistoric times. In Petra: A city forgotten and rediscovered, ed. J. Frösén and Z.T. Fiema, 33–43. Helsinki: Amos Anderson Art Museum.
Joukowsky, M.S. 1998. Petra Great Temple: Brown University excavations 1993–1997. Providence: Brown University Petra Exploration Fund.
Joukowsky, M.S. 2007. Petra Great Temple, Volume II: Archaeological contexts of the remains and excavations. Providence: Brown University Petra Exploration Fund.
Kanellopoulos, C. 2004. The temples of Petra: An architectural analysis. Archäologischer Anzeiger 1: 221–239.
Markoe, G., ed. 2003. Petra rediscovered: The lost city of the Nabataeans. New York: Harry N. Abrams in association with the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Petra: lost city of stone. n.d.. American Museum of Natural History. Available at: www.amhn.org/exhibitions/petra
Petra National Trust. n.d. Available at: http://petranationaltrust.org
Politis, K.D., ed. 2007. The world of the Nabataeans. volume 2 of the International Conference on The World of the Herods and the Nabataeans held at the British Museum, 17–19 April 2001. Oriens et Occidens 15. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner.
Rababeh, S.M. 2005. How Petra was built: An analysis of the construction techniques of the Nabataean freestanding buildings and rock-cut monuments in Petra, Jordan. British Archaeological Reports International series 1460. Oxford: Archaeopress.
Roche, M.-J. 2009. Pétra et les Nabatéens. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.
Schmid, S.G. 2000. The ‘Hellenistic’ tomb façades of Nabataean Petra and their cultural background. Graeco Arabica 7–8: 485–509.
Schmid, S.G. 2001. The Nabataeans: Travelers between lifestyles. In The archaeology of Jordan (Levantine Archaeology 1), ed. B. MacDonald, R. Adams, and P. Bienkowski, 367–426. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.
Taylor, J. 2005. Petra and the lost kingdom of the Nabataeans. London: The Folio Society.
Weber, T., and R. Wenning (ed.). 1997. Petra: antike Felsstadt zwischen arabischer Tradition und griechischer Norm. Mainz am Rhein: P. von Zabern.
Editors and Affiliations
© 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG
About this entry
Cite this entry
Urban, T.M., Tuttle, C.A. (2020). Petra, Archaeology of. In: Smith, C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-30018-0_1125
Publisher Name: Springer, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-030-30016-6
Online ISBN: 978-3-030-30018-0