Film info

Creator / Collector

Through the narrow gorge of Sig, among red rocks, we are going to meet the ancient city of Petra in Jordan.

The imposing rocks in the narrow passage cause awe. Views from bottom to the top so that the camera captures their magnificence. The magnificent treasury emerges through the walls of the gorge that have been torn in two. The treasury that was carved and sculpted from the cliff (many believe that it was a temple dedicated to the goddess Isis, due to some inscriptions that were found). The 40-meter-high Treasury or Al-Khazneh in Arabic is decorated with Corinthian-style columns and embossed representations.

We are watching zoom in views of the columns and the decoration of Al-Khazneh and the expressions of the visitors at the sight of it.

The film continues with shots from the ancient Roman temple, the only one that is not carved, from the ancient small theater of Petra with the carved seats on the rock and with a capacity of 3,000 spectators and views from the Royal tombs (the Imperial, the Corinthian, the Silk, of the urn). These burial monuments are of incomparable beauty, the imperial which its facade mimics the Roman palaces, the Corinthian which its doors lead to different rooms, the silk with the wonderful colors on its facade and the urn with the courtyard and the colonnade.

The city of Petra dates from 400 BC, was first inhabited by the Nabateans and the architecture of the city has a strong influence of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The city remained hidden for 1,500 years until it was discovered by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812, dressed as an Arab.


Film Information

Bonar, Andrew Graham

HD (1440x1080)



Duration (seconds)

Super 8mm

Creator's description

-But, King Hussain, your majesty, could you tell us where we are now? Eh, I think we got lost.
- Yes, certainly, you are now approaching Petra. I always say that nobody should come to my kingdom without paying a visit to Petra.
- Oh, of course, of course…who hasn’t heard of Petra? This must be the Sig, the narrow defile which is the only entrance to the place. Just look at it.
-Try to lead an army down here to attack Petra. He wouldn’t stand a chance.

I think we’ve arrived at the end of the gorge and that must be the famous treasury there…that’s right, that’s what it is! But though it is called the treasury in fact it was probably the tomb of one of the Nabateans kings. The Nabateans incidentally were the people who first built Petra and made it to an important city and center of civilisation. They probably started of as a wandering Arab tribe that grew reach on a plunder - caravans.

Later on there, during the Hellenistic period the evident — be found that still more worthwhile to offer protection to caravans in return the payment to the toll. Gradually, they extended their power and influence and their control into caravans roots and quite enormous wealth which they spend on building houses, temples, tombs and other constructions in amount of fastness.

Eventually, they fell victims to the romans in AD 106 but the romans continued the traditions already established and did much — further in — the city. Building among other things a theatre to sit 2000 people.

As trade patterns and trade roots changed further, Petra declined until nobody but a few Bedouin shepherds inhabited the caves that had once been or — decorated painted temples or tombs. All knowledge of it was lost to the outside world until the year 1812 when it was rediscovered by a Swiss explorer named Burckhardt who disguised himself as an Arab pilgrim.
Bonar, Andrew Graham