Hidden Treasury

In the early 1800s, I couldn’t imagine stumbling upon the famous rock-cut architecture of PetraJordan while wandering through the deserts of the Middle East.

In 1812 the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt did just that.

Burckhardt was living in Syria at the time and had heard locals talk of an ancient rose-colored city not far from where he was. In 1812 he set out and “discovered” the ancient trade mecca which had been forgotten about for nearly 1,000 years. Given the sheer awesomeness of walking up to the historical site now days, I couldn’t imagine doing it then. We have all seen pictures of the ancient city carved into the side of a mountain, or we’ve watched movies (Indiana Jones comes to mind) which were set there as well. However, in 1812, being the first European to walk down the narrow Siq and see The Treasury unveil itself had to be a pretty spectacular experience.

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