The Great Plotnik

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Temples out of Rocks

Plot and Duck got a text from The Great BZWZ yesterday: "Just went swimming in the Dead Sea. Suitcase arrived last night. Clean clothes!"

In an email the day before she described what she was seeing:

"Petra is really incredible. Those Nabataeans sure knew how to carve stuff into sandstone. The site is a mixture of original Nabataean
structures and Roman/Byzantine structures built on top or around it.
It's divided into a "city of the dead" where all the tombs are, and a
"city of the living" where the normal structures are. The most
striking stuff is the very elaborate tombs carved into the mountain
walls. In the Petra "city center" there are some structures being
excavated by various groups, including a few temples and some houses
and a neat pool/garden structure. Almost everything original is
covered by a huge amount of sand and sediment. The road that the
Romans built through the site is 15 feet below ground in some places.
So there's plenty of stuff to be revealed once more digging happens..."

Pretty amazing stuff. It's even more amazing when you take out an atlas and stare at the part of the Middle East where BZ is. Jordan's capital, Amman, into which she flew from Frankfurt, is no more than fifty miles across the Dead Sea from Jerusalem. What can that be, an hour? And Jerusalem is no more than another hour to the Mediterranean.

These are TINY distances! So much history and, of course, acrimony, packed into such a small area.

Petra is a few hours south of Amman into the desert. Look for a dot on the map called 'Wadi Musa' and you know where BZ and the archeologists are staying.

Jealous? Who, Plotnik? Oh, yeah.


At 10:46 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

Yeah, I want more!

At 6:32 PM, Anonymous finch said...

we have to figure out how to get there....that picture is so amazing.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger notthatlucas said...

Very cool! Love this old stuff.

At 8:25 PM, Anonymous jj-aka-pp said...

Oh my gosh I'm jealous! The next time she goes I think she'll need a family escort! (a BIG family escort) I would happily have carried her bag! :-)


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