The legendary city of the dead of a flourishing civilization: exceptional masterpieces cut into the rock and threatened by erosion.
A temple or mausoleum cut into the rock twenty centuries ago, Petra (Jordan) was the place of worship and pilgrimage of the Nabateans, the mysterious people that arrived from the Arabian Peninsula in the 6th century BC. This flourishing civilization was overcome first by Roman conquerors, and then by the terrible earthquake of 363. For fifteen centuries all signs of this settlement were lost, and it became a sort of mirage for archaeologists. It was not rediscovered until the beginning of the last century, by the Swiss archaeologist Burckhardt.
The volume reconstructs the history of the mythical city of the dead, a gigantic necropolis built between 80 BC and 25 AD, in a style that is an admirable mixture of oriental motifs and Greek elements. Over five hundred tombs of all forms and sizes cover an area of about forty square kilometers: exceptional masterpieces visited every day by thousands of tourists, and threatened by the erosion of the stone.