PETRA PETRA PETRA
Lost City of Stone
April 7, 2005 to February 18, 2007
The city of Petra in Jordan © Jane Taylor

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION 

PETRA AND THE NABATAEANS 

A WORD FROM THE CURATOR 

TIMELINE 

EXHIBITION TREASURES 

RESOURCES 

THE BEDOUIN OF PETRA 

CREDIT 
Statue of Victory holding celestial disk with head of Tyche

Statue of Victory
holding celestial disk
with head of Tyche

PETRA AND THE NABATAEANS

  THE CROSSROADS OF
   ANCIENT TRADE ROUTES


  A CITY CARVED IN STONE

  LOST… AND REDISCOVERED

A CITY CARVED IN STONE

The Nabataeans transformed the forbidding desert into a bustling metropolis. They carved monumental buildings directly into the sandstone hills and created thousands of stone structures, such as temples, burial chambers, residences and theatres.

In one of the harshest climates on earth, the Nabataeans were able to harness the rainfall and the desert springs through an intricate system of cisterns, pools and waterways. This engineering marvel conserved and transported more than enough fresh water for Petra’s population, which is thought to have peaked at 20,000 around A.D. 50. The Nabataeans also developed an elaborate network of dams, terraces and irrigation channels that allowed them to grow crops and raise livestock on the surrounding plateau.