A remote corner in southwestern Jordan has 'Petra' in it. Petra was once the centre of trade and commerce in the region. Carved out of red, white and pink sandstone, Petra surfaced before the western world in the early years of the 19th century after centuries of oblivion.
Petra was the capital of the Nabataean empire that ruled over the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan from 400 BC to 106 AD. Centuries down the lane of history, it ha been declared to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Petra has been the host to several film and movie directors' attempts to give fabulous shots in their movies. Hollywood blockbusters like 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade' were shot in Petra.
There was a trend to follow the Arab pantheon when it came to worshiping of gods. The pre-Islamic era in the Arab world had a host of gods and goddesses.
Several statues of these gods and goddesses symbolize the devotion of the civilization towards them. Many different structures in Petra are oriented towards equinox and solstices sunrises and sunsets.
Nabataean theology and its inclination towards the Earth-Sun relationships is reflected by this. Christianity is known to have made its presence felt in Petra only in the 4th century AD.
Petra faces severe threats of being destroyed by the drainage system effected for rainwater. Restoration and maintenance of ancient structures is not being done as it should be. A large part of the ancient structure has collapsed under its own weight.
There have been efforts on the part of many local and international firms and organizations to preserve whatever remains of Petra. The Petra National Trust was formed in 1989 with this aim in mind.