5. The Lost City of Petra
Petra, the 2,000 year old capital of the Nabataeans, was built into cliffs in the southwestern desert of Jordan. Never has a city been as aptly named as Petra means “rock” in Greek. During pre-biblical and Roman times the city thrived as a center of trade on the caravan routes. Elaborate dwellings, temples, tombs and endless stairs were carved directly into the rose-red sandstone cliffs rising out of the desert, and sophisticated water systems were developed to handle the expanding population. Over time trade routes changed, earthquakes destroyed many buildings and eventually the city was abandoned. It became a legend, a mystery-- a lost city until 1812 when it was rediscovered. The illustrated talk takes the viewer into Petra through the mile-long narrow cleft that serves as the entrance and continues through the highlights of the hand-hewn city. The presentation is illustrated with current photography.