The wind gently whistles across ever-changing shades of sandstone while colors adjust themselves to the movement of the sun as it makes its way across the ancient Jordanian sky.
Here the unseen hand of nature has sculpted the rock into an awesome, breathtaking adventure.
Centuries of rushing water flowed through the soft rock, penetrating ever downward through the earth’s crust. Though it was a natural phenomenon, the water surged as though it had some strange, mysterious purpose.
Whispering sands blow through a majestic canyon carved by wind and rain, caressing the stone into wild, fantastic shape and vast chasms.
The Bible called it Sela.
The ancient Nabataean tribe who built the city within called it Rekmu or Rekem.
Today it is called
The once hidden Nabataean city is located in southern
Weathered rock rounded by time leads the way into another world; a valley dominated by sheer cliffs that reach higher and higher the further you penetrate into the heart of the mountain. It is a ravine that does Indiana Jones proud; a living monument to rival anything from
At first your mind is dazzled by the sight, awed by the brilliance of the colors where a massive carving rises from a vertical rock-face into a perfectly proportioned sculpture. Bullet holes serve as a reminder of the many attempts to release the treasure which local legend claims to still be hidden within the recesses of the cave.
Sheltered from the damaging effects of wind and rain that could easily weather the soft sandstone, the treasury is the best preserved, and most spectacular monument, within the ancient city.
The Nabataeans grew out of one of the many nomadic northern Arabian tribes. For 500 years,
Typical of the Nabataean civilization,
It was not until the Roman Emperor Trajan was able to manipulate the water supply to the city in 106 CE that the Nabataeans declined, allowing the Romans to take over.
Many of the tombs are still occupied, though a significant number have raided by vandals and treasure seekers throughout the centuries. Even now, the cliffs echo with the sound of goats and sheep that live within, a perpetual and eternal reminder of life as it was lived more than 2,000 years ago.
In the evening, fires dot the darkness, and songs can be heard as the sound makes its way through the valley and across the rock, following the same natural path that has been carved by water, wind and the sands of time.
The glory of
This is the story of a departed race; an advanced civilization whose legacy yet lingers in the 21st century as a place of inspiration and awe.
Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in Charlotte, NC, founder of The Magellan Travel Club which creates and escorts customized tours to Switzerland, France and Italy for groups of 12 or more. Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@aol.com Taylored media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others. As author of The Century Clubbook, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 69 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries.