Part of a series that focuses on individual facets of art, archaeology, music, philosophy, popular culture, science and nature. This book explores the history, culture and architecture of the ancient city of Petra.
This is a small, compact book that is easy to travel with. Good historical account and description of ruins.
Lovely glossy book but a little clunky to read
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 15 years ago
I bought this book for my parents who will be visiting Petra this year. This is a small but extensive book which packs in a lot of information about Petra: the history of the region, a guide to the city and what makes it unique. It is lavishly illustrated (in color throughout) and the pages are glossy and of high quality. It is also compact enough to pack neatly into a handbag or large pocket. Having said that, a few critiques: - The writing is dense and clunky. I don't know for sure if this is the case, but it reads like a poor translation from another language. I notice that the "look inside this book" facility doesn't include any of the actual text and I wonder if this is why. I found it a struggle to read this book. The content is interesting, but the way it is written makes it hard going. - The text is also quite small in size - smaller than an average book. Not ideal for older eyes! - Finally, the book is heavier than its small size would lead you to expect - presumably due to the high quality paper. It's still light enough to travel with, but it weighs twice as much as you would expect from such a slim volume. In spite of these shortcomings, I'm still happy with this purchase and my parents were very pleased to receive it. It is a beautiful and high quality book and the photographs are outstanding.
Perfect travel companion...
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 20 years ago
Even though it lacks the details of bigger books such as Udi Levy's "The Lost Civilization of Petra" (a hardback book), it doesn't mean it lacks details altogether! I found this book to be a great source of information while I was travelling since it is small and stocked full of info on Petra, the Nabateans, and more. This book is loaded with colorful well-photographed pictures and lithographs, and lively-written text which makes reading it a breeze. I fit this book in my back pocket while in Petra and pulled it out to get details on things like the great cisterns and the waterway through the main siq. The section at the end of the book on modern plans to try and preserve Petra's vulnerable sandstone is very interesting... Electophoresis?!?! Wow!The book wraps up everything with a chronology at the end and a list of Nabataea's kings. A very enjoyable and informative read considering its small size... Big things do come in small packages!
Petra: Lost City of the Ancient World. "Petra's ancient
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 21 years ago
Semitic name, Reqem or Raqmu, is said to mean 'striped,' or 'multicolored,' a reference to the extraodinary range of colors of its sandstone. Monuments carved into living rock may seem indesructible, yet the site is threatened by natural erosion nd by the neglect of centuries. Today, remedies are being explored to halt this deterioration."(Page 114). What a way to complete the most detailed history of Petra, by indicating the preservation needed to protect Petra for posterity.Putting the "cart before the horse" I just have to marvel (before I neglect to mention) that this book includes a helpful chronology of events at the very back of the book. "Petra...the name is said to come from the Greek word for stone, or rock, since the city itself was hollowed out of the rock. But it may just as well have come from the Arabic batara, meaning to cut or hew, since the city was actually carved from rock... perhaps this is even the better etymology, since this was a place cut off from the rest of the world. --Nabil Naoum, Le Chateau de la princesse (The Castle of the Princes), from Petra: Le Dit des pierres (Petra: The Stones Speak), edited by Phillippe Cardinal, 1993."(Page 96.)The book begins with Petra emerging from obscurity with the first archaeological missions. The book comprises the history of Petras peoples; lengthy revelations of The Nabataeans (and their other cities, too); "location, location, location!"; part of the caravan route and its participation in international trade; nomadic to stationary living; city planning; housing; temples, sanctuaries; and anatomy of forms of architecture. "It is Petra's funerary architecture, most famous in its rock-hewn form, that best reflects this dual cultural identity, Eastern and Hellenistic. Interest has focused on the facades that mark the entry to a funerary chamber excavated directly into the rock. These can be understood as a monumental form of the nefesh, an erect stele that indicates the presence of a deceased, just as a baetyl indicates the presence of a divinity. The facade shows the importance of the deceased and of his or her family..."(Page 84). Such rich architectural fetes are revealed to us within the framework of this work! Do take time to study the water system of Petra."...due to a series of earthquakes, especially one in the 8th century, construction seems to have come to a halt there earlier than it did in regions farther to the north. We know little about Petra between the 7th and 10th centuries. By the Middle Ages, it may have been virtually deserted. We know that in the 12th century, one of the Crusader kings of Jerusalem, Baldwin I or II, built a castle at al-Wu'eira, in the Valley of Moses. Few medieval documents refer to the city, but a confused memory of its ancient rank as the capital of a far-reaching kingdom livd on. Oddly, traces of its old Aramaic and Babataean name, Arken or Reqem, meaning 'the Multi-colored,' survived. In 1217, a German pilgrim named Thetmar passe
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 23 years ago
This book has been done in a style similar to a National Geographic magazine. It combines a history of the city and its excavations with exquisite photographs and drawings. This book was well researched and does an excellent job describing the ancient city which was carved entirely out of the cliffs which make Petra unique. I reccomend this book to anyone who has an interest in the history of the Fertile Crescent, Jordan, archaelogy, or the 7 wonders of the ancient world (This book asserts that Petra is considered to be an eighth wonder).
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