Petra – Jordan

The Siq, Petra, Jordan

The Siq, Petra, Jordan

The Siq is the main entrance to the ancient city of Petra in southern Jordan. The dim, narrow gorge, which in some parts is no more than three metres wide, winds its way for 1.2 kilometres and ends at Petra’s most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh (The Treasury). The Siq is a natural geological fault produced by tectonic forces and worn smooth by water erosion. The walls that enclose the Siq stand between 90 and 180 metres in height. The Siq was used as the grand caravan entrance into Petra. Along both walls of the fissure are a number of votive niches containing baetyli, which suggest that the Siq was sacred to the Nabatean people. In 1998, a group of statues were uncovered when digging was conducted to lower the road by two metres. Although the upper part is greatly eroded, it is still possible to recognise the figures of two merchants, each leading two camels. The figures are almost twice life size. Along the Siq are some underground chambers, the function of which has not yet been clarified. The possibility that they were tombs has been excluded and archaeologists find it difficult to believe that they were dwellings. The majority consensus is that they housed the guards that defended the main entrance to Petra.

Photograph taken with Nikon D100 & 12-24mm lens at 12mm on 3rd May 2008

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