The Jordan Desert is a beautiful, natural landscape and was once home to a legendary and mysterious people that fell into oblivion some centuries ago, the Nabateans, whose realm was at its zenith some 2,000 years ago and resulted in some of the most fascinating ruins of antiquity.
Due to their remote and obscure location, the remains of Petra, a legendary Nabatean city of rock, were for many years merely regarded as a myth and only a few local Bedouin tribes knew of the existence of certain ancient buildings in the south of what is now Jordan.
Both El-Barid and Petra were located in a very favorable position at the junction of several ancient trading routes that led from the Arabian Peninsula to as far as Anatolia and into today’s Syria and Egypt. Caravan trains brought great wealth to the Nabatean realm.
The technical knowledge and achievements of this ancient desert tribe were quite remarkable. Drains that were several kilometres long supplied the local population with fresh water, an essential commodity in the desert.
One of the region’s most famous natural landmarks is situated in the northern part of the Wadi Rum, The Seven Pillars Of Wisdom, a striking rock that was named after a novel by Lawrence Of Arabia. Inspired by the enthusiastic writings of the legendary secret agent, film director David Lean decided to shoot the film at the original locations mentioned by Lawrence. The shining color of the rocks and the fascinating desert landscape of the Wadi Rum have been made famous by the historic film.
The conquest of this region by the Arabs in the middle of the 7th century marked the decline of the legendary rock city of Petra. For more than 1,000 years, the ruins of this ancient civilization lay hidden beneath the desert sands of Jordan before they once again revealed some of their secrets to a new and fascinated world.