Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The "Jordanian approaches circuit" - Day 4 (cont.)

The "Jordanian approaches circuit" circuit - The morning of day 4 (cont.)

Khaznet al-Faraoun (commonly known as the Treasury) - Petra
The 25th of January 2011

The forty by thirty metre facade of the Treasury dated to the first century BC, irrespective of some of its carvings having been damaged is still impressive and historically shows to what extent the Nabatean culture had been influenced by the Hellenistic and Middle Eastern worlds;

It is possibly due to King Aretas III Philhellene ("the Greek lover") who brought architects to Petra from the centres of Hellenistic culture.The broken pediments, which frame the upper storey are eagles (symbols of the Nabateans'chief male Deity. In the centre part below the urn is the representation of Isis (the Egyptian Godess equated with the Nabatean Godess al-Uzza. Two winged Victories are also to be seen, with four remaining figures holding axes, which have not been identified. Two lions, also symbolizing al-Uzza adorn the entablature. The mounted riders seen at ground level are Castor and Polux. Some probable tombs are also to be seen through a grille set into the ground.

The function of the Treasury is unknown, though it may have been a tomb temple, used as a place of worship, had no bearing on  our opinion, as we stood there  ... taken by the inevitable breathtaking vision of its whole building ... and having been told it was sculpted in situ, gouged out of the unshaped rock made it only look more impressive.

The images  may speak for themselves ... because the truth is ... there are no words to describe it.

Amazingly enough there is still a lot to see around the area and before we headed towards the Outer Siq, we finally took a group picture (though four of our trip companions are not  to be seen on it). 

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