Jordan is part of the land bridge linking Europe, Africa and Asia. It is slightly smaller in size than the state of Kentucky. It has experienced a unique history being in the center of major trade crossroads for thousands of years. The Nabateans, the Greeks, Romans, Christian crusaders and Muslims have all left evidence of their exploits. Political boundaries have been crisscrossed by the Bible with references to Lot seeking refuge from the fire and brimstone of the Lord. Moses, Aaron and John the Baptist all had roles in Jordan's history and died here. Some believe that Jesus was baptized in a section of the Jordan river that lies within the country's boundaries.
Petra. Located at the crossroads of the flourishing overland caravan trade routes, Petra prospered as the capital of the Nabateans empire from 400 B.C. to A.D. 106. The Nabateans engineered an impressive system of pipes, tunnels, and channels that carried drinking water into the city and reduced the chance of flash floods. The Romans annexed Petra in A.D. 106, and its position as a commercial hub slowly deteriorated. The Byzantines made the city the seat of a bishopric in A.D. 379 before earthquakes and an economic lull took their toll. By the end of the Byzantine Empire (circa A.D. 700), the hydraulic system and the once dignified and gracious buildings in the center of town had deteriorated to near ruins. In the centuries that followed, Petra disappeared from most maps and was known only through ancient lore. In 1812, Swiss traveler Johann Burckhardt stole into the mythic city disguised as a Muslim trader and told the world about what he found. Today most of the Bedouin people who once lived in the area of the ancient city have been relocated to houses provided by the Jordanian government. Efforts to protect Petra and its artifacts continue even as tourism grows at a steady pace and excavations uncover more of the long-lost city.
Our program will give you a wonderful introduction to this amazing land and its people.
Egypt & Jordan programs