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

LOST… AND REDISCOVERED

Petra’s commercial role declined with the growth of ocean trading routes in the Red and Arabian seas . The city suffered a major blow in A.D. 363 when much of it was destroyed by an earthquake. Despite efforts to rebuild, Petra never regained its status as an economic powerhouse. Much of the infrastructure that supported life in Petra began to deteriorate, and the city was later buffeted by political and religious changes sweeping the ancient world.

By the seventh century, the once great city was abandoned. It remained virtually lost to the outside world until it was rediscovered in 1812 by Swiss explorer Johann Burckhardt. It is now a major tourist destination and one of the most important archaeological sites in the Middle East. With less than five percent of the ancient city unearthed, Petra has yet to unveil all its secrets.