Books on Petra

DK_holy_landDK Eyewitness Travel
Jerusalem and the Holy Land

New, expanded edition: the world’s best full-colour travel guides just got better.

From the green hills and sun-drenched coast of Galilee to the sacred sites of Jerusalem’s Old City; from the dramatic desert of Wadi Rum to the vibrant reefs of Dahab, there is much for pilgrims and holidaymakers alike.

This relaunched edition has new features and three brand new walks, as well as clear maps and extended hotel and restaurant listings.

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roman_arabiaRoman Arabia

G. W. Bowersock

The Roman province of Arabia occupied a crucial corner of the Mediterranean world, encompassing most of what is now Jordan, southern Syria, northwest Saudi Arabia, and the Negev. Mr. Bowersock’s book is the first authoritative history of the region from the fourth century B.C. to the age of Constantine.

The book opens with the arrival of the Nahataean Arabs in their magnificent capital at Petra and describes the growth of their hellenized culture based on trade in perfume and spices. It traces the transformation of the region from an Arab kingdom under Roman influence into an imperial province, one that played an increasingly important role in the Roman strategy for control of the Near East. While the primary emphasis is on the relations of the Arabs of the region with the Romans, their interactions with neighboring states, Jewish, Egyptian, and Syrian, are also stressed. The narrative concludes with the breakup of the Roman province at the start of the Byzantine age.


petra_lost_kingdomPetra and the Lost Kingdom of the Nabataeans

Jane Taylor

The Nabataean Arabs, one of the most gifted peoples of the ancient world, are today known only for their hauntingly beautiful rock-carved capital–Petra. Here, in the wild and majestic landscapes of southern Jordan, they created some of the most prodigious works of man in the vast monuments that they chiseled from the sandstone mountains. The very scale of their achievement is breathtaking, but beyond mere magnitude is their creative vision, for they transformed the living rock of Petra into an enduring architectural masterpiece.

For nearly two thousand years, their civilization has been lost and all but forgotten. Yet the Nabataeans were famous in their day–Herod the Great and his sons, and a kaleidoscope of Roman emperors, were keenly aware of their power and wealth. Often victims of Greek, Roman, or Herodian duplicity, murder, and power politics, the Nabataeans were major players in the drama of the Middle East in biblical times.

This richly illustrated volume recounts the story of a remarkable but lost civilization and the capacity of its people to diversify their skills as necessity demanded. It describes their nomadic origins, the development of their multifaceted culture, their relations with their now famous neighbors, and the demise of their kingdom. It looks at their continued, if unrecognized, survival as Christians and farmers under the Byzantine Empire and into the early years of Islam.



Maria Giulia Amadasi Guzzo and Eugenia Equini Schneider

“If ever a dead city held romance it is Petra. . . . Hewn out of ruddy rock in the midst of a mountain wilderness, sumptuous in ornament and savage in environs, poised in wildness like a great carved opal glowing in a desert, this lost caravan city staggers the most experienced traveller.” So wrote Rose Macaulay in her Pleasure of Ruins (1953), echoing the sentiments of generations of travelers before and since. Reached through a narrow, winding crevasse between looming cliffs in south Jordan, Petra served as the capital city of the Nabatean Arabs from the third century B.C.E to 106 C.E. (when it was occupied by the Roman emperor Trajan).

In this lavishly illustrated book, Maria Giulia Amadasi Guzzo and Eugenia Equini Schneider provide an accessible overview of the history and culture of the Nabateans, including their language, religion, politics, and economy, as well as a detailed guide to the city of Petra and its art and architecture. A major stop on the spice trade route, Petra attracted wealth and culture from across the Arabic and classical worlds and was abundantly furnished with more than 800 monuments. Perhaps the most well known of these is the Khazneh el-Faroun, or Treasury, a royal tomb more than 130 feet high with a magnificent Hellenistic facade carved from the salmon pink sandstone of the surrounding cliffs. But no less impressive were Petra’s advanced achievements in hydraulic engineering, including elaborate water conservation systems and dams.

For anyone who has felt the lure and wonder of ancient cities and civilizations in exotic locations, Petra will be a delightful and invaluable resource.


petra_rediscoveredPetra Rediscovered:Lost City of The Nabataeans

Markoe, Glenn

For more than four centuries the ancient kingdom of Petra, with its magnificent temples and rock-cut tombs, Flourished at the intersection of two major trade routes running from Syria to the Red Sea and from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean. The Romans absorbed Petra into their empire in 106 A.D., and in 363 A.D. an earthquake left the city in ruins, forgotten in the West until European explorers rediscovered it in the 19th century. Today largely as a result of the astonishing finds from ongoing archaeological excavations this beautiful site has become one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Middle East. Petra Rediscovered brings us the discoveries from those excavations, in a spectacular volume that accompanies a major traveling exhibition on the history and art of this evocative ancient city. Vibrantly illustrated with on-site photography most newly shot for this book Petra Rediscovered presents the latest archaeological revelations and scholarly research on the city and the Nabataean people. Essays in lively prose by archaeologists who have worked at Petra and researched the art, objects, and inscriptions found there will fascinate history and archaeology buffs, art lovers, and travelers, who will be newly inspired to visit this spectacular site.


petra_lost_city2Discoveries: Petra – Lost City of The Ancient World

Auge, Christian & Dentzer, Je

This rich narrative history surveys the art, culture, and stunning architecture of the ancient city of Petra, whose hidden monuments are carved out of Jordan’s rocky cliffs, and whose rare beauty steadily draws tourists to this remote site in the Arabian desert.



jordan_field_guideField Guide to Jordan

A comprehensive guide with beautiful photographs and concise descriptions of Jordan’s diverse wonders. This compact book is for locals and visitors alike to identify, learn about, and enjoy:

Jordan’s wildlife habitats, parks and reserves, canyons, and deserts;

a large selection of Jordan’s mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, fish, and plants;

Jordan’s rich archaeological treasures, including Petra, Jerash, desert castles, and prehistoric sites;

Jordan’s fascinating geological history, including the Great Rift Valley, volcanic, rocks, and much more.

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The Rough Guide to Jordan

The Rough Guide to Jordan is the essential handbook to the Middle East’s most alluring destination. Features include:

• Full-colour section showcasing Jordan’s highlights, from the wilderness of Wadi Rum to the magic of Petra.

• Informed background on all the sights and attractions, including Amman, the Dead Sea and the Red Sea beach resort of Aqaba.

• Practical tips for adventure activities, including diving, camping, camel treks and balloon trips.

• Unique features on literature, art and women in Jordanian society.

Order: The Rough Guide to Jordan – 3rd Edition

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