Petra: The Endless Excavation

Beyond The Treasury, if you take the path to the right as you face The Treasury, the valley opens up in contrast to the narrowness of the SIQ to reveal the incredible expanse that was and remains of Petra. To reinforce, what you see is only 4% of the entirety of Petra. Most of it is still buried. If it’s astounding to begin with, to say that what you can see is only 4% of Petra makes it pretzel twisting and mindbogglingly incomprehensible.

The Theatre, Royal Tombs and the Colonnaded Street are the significant structures.

Tombs throughout Petra feature steps carved above the tombs. These steps provide a way for the deceased to assist them get to heaven via the steps to heaven. The steps are always on top of the tomb. The image illustrates how 96% of Petra is buried because the arch on the tomb is at ground level.  The rest of the structure is buried under the ground, sometimes up to 20 metres below.

BOOK & MOVIE FACT: The Neverending Story is a magical story, a book that was made into a film, about Bastian, who rides a dragon, Falkor, as they attempt to prevent “The Nothing”, a darkness that destroys everything, from enveloping the world. An allegory for our times?

MUSIC FACT: Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven is both revered and reviled due to its significance in the myth that surrounds Led Zeppelin’s prominence as rock gods and the song’s overexposure.  In Mike Myers’ film Wayne’s World, a musical instrument shop has a sign on the wall in the guitar section that states, “No Stairway”, to potential guitar buyers who want to test the guitars.