Petra: The melted city

BrokenAgate

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So, were these buildings covered in ash or mud, or did somebody drop a few thousand tons of molten rock on them from above?
 
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Ice Nine

Ice Nine

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So, were these buildings covered in ash or mud, or did somebody drop a few thousand tons of molten rock on them from above?
One or the other works for me. It still seems to me they were covered in mud/ash, a big slow moving lahar or else during some planetary mining operation, instead of just making spoil tips the waste got dumped on Petra. :unsure:
 

BrokenAgate

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Another map with Petra from 1729 by Van Der Aa, Pieter Boudewyn

View attachment 21343
All of the cities are depicted as buildings with poles sticking out of the rooftops. Apparently, this was such a common feature that the artist included it as a matter of course, even for Petra--which, according to the modern explanation, wouldn't have looked like a normal city at all, as it was carved right into the rocks. No place for antennae on Petra's rooftops...No rooftops to put them on.
 

Mabzynn

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All of the cities are depicted as buildings with poles sticking out of the rooftops. Apparently, this was such a common feature that the artist included it as a matter of course, even for Petra--which, according to the modern explanation, wouldn't have looked like a normal city at all, as it was carved right into the rocks. No place for antennae on Petra's rooftops...No rooftops to put them on.
Not just any city, but the most populated version on the map legend...

here's more:


Could be a map of the flood years as this map stated it was Syria post flood: https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b59642326/f3.item.r=paradisus eden.zoom... The entire shape of the Mediterranean is off here and it looks like the red sea is being created. (1537)
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Candido lectori S. Palestinam hanc, et in eam per Arabicas petras ex Aegypto Hebreorum iter ex Zieglero fidissimo horum chorographo deprompsimus... 1537 / Gerardus Mercator Rupelmundanus faciebat | Gallica


1584
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Asiae Tabula VI : Continet Arabiam foelicem & Carmaniam / [Mercator d'après Ptolémée] | Gallica


"which is Petra capital of Arabia" - (1697-1782).
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[Syrie entre le golfe d'Alexandrette, Palmyre, Pétra et Peluse / par Jean- Baptiste d'Anville] | Gallica


1700-1799
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[Carte anglaise de l'Isthme de Suez et l'Arabie Pétrée] / Abr. Elton del. | Gallica


Petra (archaeological site) - Surroundings - 1729 (Published 1800's - Laborde, Leon de (1807-1869))
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petra1.png

Plan de la ville de Petra et de ses environs / levé sur les lieux par Léon de Laborde, 1729 | Gallica
 
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WorldWar1812

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"Rediscovered in 1812".

Petra - Wikipedia

The first european.....huh, huh :D

"The first European to describe them was Swiss traveller Johann Ludwig Burckhardt during his travels in 1812.[3][24] At that time, the Greek Church of Jerusalem operated a diocese in Al Karak named Battra (باطره in Arabic, and Πέτρας in Greek) and it was the opinion among the clergy of Jerusalem that Kerak was the ancient city of Petra.[24]

The Scottish painter David Roberts visited Petra in 1839 and returned to England with sketches and stories of the encounter with local tribes. The archaeologist Philip Hammond from the University of Utah, USA, has visited Petra for nearly 40 years. He explains that the local folklore says it was created by the wand of Moses, when he struck the rock to bring forth water for the Israelites. Hammond believes the carved channels deep within the walls and ground were made from ceramic pipes that once fed water for the city, from rock-cut systems on the canyon rim.[25]

Because the structures weakened with age, many of the tombs became vulnerable to thieves, and many treasures were stolen. In 1929, a four-person team, consisting of British archaeologists Agnes Conway and George Horsfield, Palestinian physician and folklore expert Dr Tawfiq Canaan and Dr Ditlef Nielsen, a Danish scholar, excavated and surveyed Petra."


How much has been added or modified in the late 19th century or in the beginning of 20th century?
A tourist trap.

As I told you, first rake the surface, then paste the lump concrete plaste.



This seems a very dirty work



But the lump falls.



Maybe modern concrete is worse than classical "roman" cement. Who knows.

When lump falls evidence is in front of your eyes.



If this were "carved rock" it doesn't behaviour like that, like a layers of a pancake.

Evidently the site has been some time under high temperatures.



That has molten the rock, forming very good caves, you've got only to poolish some angles, and put the lump, and et voile "carved rock". Ancient peoples weren't so stupid.



The rock has so much porosity, but that's not a problem if you are in the middle of the desert or a place where it doesn't rain usually.

Look the colour and appeaence of the rock in the background and the "carved rock".
Shouldn't have same colour?



Different colour on the front "carved rock" and the background "mother rock".





One hypothesis involves a very ancient city that suffered some sort of cataclysmic event (molten rock), destroying ancient buildings, then using the caves and concrete, people recovered the place.



Whatever it's been done in 20th century as a tourist trap is another tale.
 
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jd755

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Carved sandstone behaves exactly like that as in the carved face falling off. Weather permitting I'll get out in the locality and photograph local examples and drop them in here, soon.
What you are talking about is keying, scratching the base to provide a key for sand and cement render onto the base usually brick or hard stone. It's to do with the different hydraulic functions of the two materials which is the underlying cause of 'blown' render so called as the render lifts of the base layer cracks and then collapses.

Bought a book yesterday of the Wonders of the World dating to between the wars and in it there is a photograph of a very lush landscape outside the 'treasury' and a very interesting description of the place so two finger typing will take a while but when done will post it here as it has relevance.
 

wild heretic

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Look at the windows in the picture below:


They are sealed. Nobody asks why they are sealed. Its obvious when you look at the surroundings. You can see the flat straight planes of rock either side of the building and going a little further back than the front of the building.

This is what I think. This building was completely buried in mud after the event. The locals cut a huge wedge out of the front of the new mud mountain to access the front of the building. This mud got somewhat inside the building, hence the windows are sealed with this mud. The locals just had to take the mud away from the entrance. They didn't care about the windows. They just wanted to get inside to get the valuables out.

That's not all. Do you see the "rock" between the pillars? That is the mud. It is between the windows and the pillars.

That's my take on it anyway.
 
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Ice Nine

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Sounds good to me @wild heretic and why would they go to all the trouble of carving pillars that serve no purpose, I mean whoever the original builders were, but the people who dug Petra out, if they would have kept digging the mud out, they would have had nice pillars like at the Treasury and not just a facade of half pillars. By the time they got to the Monastery they must have been sick of removing mud or whatever covered Petra.

Speaking of which I found an old colored picture from 1910 and there was still some vegetation around the Treasury at least. And boy howdy, one pillar is not there, on the left side, the one nearest the center door is not there! I'll have to go back and check out the David Robert's drawings, 1842-1849, to compare. Yep the pillar is broken and you can see part of it laying there in front.

The_Treasury,_Petra,_Jordan,_by_the_American_Colony_Jerusalem_Photo_Department,_ca._1910.jpgDavid Roberts print.jpgthe_treasury___petra___jordan_by_nmsmith-d61km6n.jpg
 

jd755

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El Khasneh, the Treasury of the Pharoah
This is the crowning gem in the collection of rock-built tombs and temples in the valley of the Wady Musa, where was the ancient Nabataean town of Petra.
This rocky and almost inaccessible valley is situated in the mountains between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Akaba.
El Khasneh is Temple of Isis and was probbly erected by the Emperor Hadrian when he visited Petr in A.D 131. The building owes much of its wonderful beauty to the rose colour of the living rock from which it is hewn. For, with the exception of the two central columns of the portico, the entire edifice is fashioned from the rock of the hill-side.
The facade of the "treasury" has two stories and is sixty feet high. The handsome portico of the lower story is supported upon six massive Corinthian columns. All the capitals, cornices and the pediment are of fine workmanship.
Above the pediment, the symbol of Isis, a solar disc between two horns, n be distinctly traced. At either corner are sphinxes. Columns in the same style adorn the upper story also and in the centre, interrupting the pediment in a curious manner, is a large and deep recess.
Within this is poised a kind of cylinder, or circular lantern and upon the pointed, conical top of this rests an urn which, as the Bedouin Arabs believe is deposited the "treasure of the Pharoah" whence the building takes its name.

The interior of the Temple is reached by a richly decorated door beneath the principal portico. The light is dim, the echoes are loud, the place has just that air of mystery which to this day often clothes an Eastern shrine with legend and romance.


From this a couple of thing stand out to me. First the author doesn't mention what the two 'odd pillars' are made of nor why they are different. Next the loud echoes suggest to me the echo is the important thing, how and why so I know not. There never were any windows nor where they intended or required for what went on inside didn't need natural light, it seems. Perhaps this is why it's located where it is. Perhaps a specific frequency of sound when energised through echo charges up something be it in the urn or in the people or whatever else is shut in behind that door.
A bigger version of a dolmen perhaps.
In all likelihood there was water out front when it was built and in use, if it ever was used for anything.

The text also gives the location as being in Syria. Not sure when Jordan was created but it isn't that long ago.

Going purely off the layout of the shrubbery and the figure in the picture 'for scale' the one on the left hand side of the trio ice nine posted is a colorized version of the one in the book credited to the American Colony, Jerusalem.

Going off the photographs in the book/online there has been quite a lot of restoration as all five of the columns in the picture are damaged at low level is either erosion damage from water or removing of stone by people, to me anyways. If I can get a scan of it I will add it in here. The sixth column is a complete rebuild so either cement render round a core of steel, most likely, or a another stone column was put in and all of the damage was rendered in the same powdered stone/concrete mix to 'lose' all the damage for 'marketing purposes', most likely either way they now all 'look the same age' a fact in itself which speaks volumes.

Roberts drawing is out of scale with the photograph. He made the people bigger and the doorway etc smaller and the damage is much higher up the columns than in the photograph.
 

Mabzynn

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Petra is on this 1541 map and also on this 1570 one.

1541 AD

1570 AD

Not ruined it seems. The dots on the 1570 map denote town or city locations and the drawings of the city illustrate them.

This makes the most sense. The designs such as the ampitheatre etc. is very ephesus - esque and "Roman". This dates it to the pre-1580 AD earth expansion catastrophy which transformed the map of Ireland as well enabling the plantations etc.

What buried Petra? Volcanic ash? Maybe. But I'd bet on the mountain behind it liquifying and burying the city and then hardening after the event.
That 1570AD map also shows Thmonis and Heracleum... "Thonis-Heracleion"

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From wiki: During the 2nd century BC Alexandria superseded Heracleion(also known by its Egyptian name Thonis) as Egypt’s primary port. Over time the city was weakened by a combination of earthquakes, tsunamis and rising sea levels. At the end of the 2nd century BC, probably after a severe flood, the ground on which central island of Heracleion was built succumbed to soil liquefaction. The hard clay turned rapidly into a liquid and the buildings collapsed into the water. A few residents stayed on during the Roman era and the beginning of Arab rule, but by the end of the eighth century AD what was left of the city had sunk beneath the sea.

Also shown on this 1537 map from my above post:
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That whole area looks pretty above water to me into the 1570's. Add it to the Pompeii list.
 
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jd755

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Just did a search for sandstone carving in duckduckgo and this site appeared.
Sculptor Carves Realistic Architectural Sculptures Into Marble And Stone

A pertinent example of his work.

marble-stone-architectural-sculptures-matthew-simmonds-8.jpg


I wonder what he could do with a cliff face or quarry wall and how long it would take him to do it?
Here's an outdoor piece.

hidden_landscape_b.jpg


And this is a private commission. How hard would it be to scale this up and fake it with moulds and appropriate renders/castings as is done today for film sets but more persistent?

ringrone_b.jpg


matt simmonds carving at DuckDuckGo
 

Starman

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And boy howdy, one pillar is not there, on the left side, the one nearest the center door is not there! I'll have to go back and check out the David Robert's drawings, 1842-1849, to compare. Yep the pillar is broken and you can see part of it laying there in front.

Also curious are the missing sculptures in the 'windows' seen in 1910. They disappeared in the last 100 years. Were they original or added later (1700's, 1800's)? If they were original, then their erosion would signify a rapid process unlike the rest of the structure. Were these always alcoves for statues or were these once true windows?
 

jd755

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Are you getting the two lookalike buildings mixed up?
They have me fooled all the time, not that is any measure but. To me either they both served the same function as their design is in essence the same or one was built first and when whatever it was designed to do it eventually stopped working so a second was built in a more favorable position until it too stopped working or the people who knew how to use them died out or left.

I was looking for aerial shots to put the into a bit more landscape and here's what I found.
The monastery from above. The ground in front looks quite damp, certainly damp enough for some plants to grow. Not that impressive seen from this angle, or maybe its just me. As for the 'windows' there is no upper level room to let the light into. As I said above whatever these buildings were used for it didn't require natural light.
J150-1-22JT.jpg


The widest view of the monastery I found. Looks even more green in this one and a more extensive green. I reckon that the flat bit floods and once upon a while ago this monastery that clearly isn't faced on to water just like its near twin in the cleft.

green.jpg


Speaking of which here is an uncommon view of the treasury that isn't revealing how short the route in really is, a massive pile of rocks off to the right (the carving process waste?) , the inside face of the upper floor 'filled in windows that aren't' sporting carved reliefs, bushes growing high up on the rocky face and more damp, or rather in this case, wet ground in front of it.

istockphoto-92964244-1024x1024.jpg
 

Starman

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Are you getting the two lookalike buildings mixed up?
They have me fooled all the time, not that is any measure but. To me either they both served the same function as their design is in essence the same or one was built first and when whatever it was designed to do it eventually stopped working so a second was built in a more favorable position until it too stopped working or the people who knew how to use them died out or left.
I see that I mixed up the Treasury with the Monastery - my bad. I wonder how long ago these terms were associated with these places? I could see how the Treasury was remembered as a place to store loot, but a Monastery facade seems a bit suspect. Where did the monks hang out?

All these stone facades with windows and doors that go nowhere appear to me as portals, or as stages. Did the ancients make symbolic things? I don't think so. My sense is that all creation was both utilitarian and with a harmonius aesthetic. They weren't playing at things, unless they were able to set a stage and watch creation itself. I am reminded of the Buddhist vision of dancing dakinis and stomping wrathful deities. Were these the images that were seen in front of the windows or alcoves during a spiritual ceremony, and in later times carved or cast into static images?

Wouldn't the most fabulous thing to have access to in this world be dimensional travel, transcending time and space? Anything more freeing than that? Gotta imagine that this would be the penultimate experience for humans, definitely something that our controllers don't want to resurrect. We are seriously trapped here on this planet/plane and the only way out is in a transmogrification after death.
 

jd755

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I managed to find an American Colony image contemporary to the one in that book and crystal clear to boot. http://www.lifeintheholyland.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Petra_Kazneh_mat04477sr.jpg

Petra_Kazneh_mat04477sr.jpg

And the 'treasury' site being flooded. Seems it gets so bad people were killed once so dams were built to keep the water back. H'mm.
Spot the repairs/renovations/reconstructions whatever they are.
Flash Flood - The Treasury, Petra - Jordan — Steemit

We were there for about 5min before the dam wall at the Treasury broke.
Water slowly trickled past the front of the Treasury, which quickly turned into a raging river within minutes. All the locals where running around grabbing their belongings and the park rangers came down to evacuate everyone back up to higher ground.
 

BStankman

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jd755

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I was wondering what was under that mesh held up with bricks. Judging by the amount of water going through it must have always been wet whatever it is could be something that went on inside the dark building relied on water for success, just speculating.

Anyway the repairs/renovations were done in the 60's along with the (re)application of coloured with local sands and rock dust rendering to 'make it all blend in' according to this page. Treasury Restoration, 1961/1962

My god look where they stood that scaffolding! Did they not realise what was underneath? Or was it only discovered/uncovered after the 60's. If that column collapsed/was pulled down when the underground portion was free of sand rock silt etc surely a bit of it would have fallen in.
Figure2.jpg


Here's a page for cartography people on the thread
Treasury Restoration, 1961/1962

In fact the entire site I find fascinating and tis an old one dating back to 2002 and seemingly not updated since

Have another restoration picture.
Figure6.jpg


That's a 'lightened by hollowing out' originally something like 10 tons in weight capital hanging over those chaps heads held up by a pair of tirfors, aka steel cabled locking ratchet devices, according to the author. I just see simple pulley blocks being used in these images so not the tirfors we have today. I must be losing it the blokes bottom left 'n right are using tirfors.
Figure8.jpg

Post automatically merged:

Well according to this site Lion Tracks Photo QnA -- Biblical Sela. The rock city of Petra in Jordan. Edomites. King Aretas and Paul.
Twas dug out after the repairs
It was believed that the Treasury was two (large) stories high until excavations showed that there was a floor below current ground height. The valley has filled in with debris washed there over the years. The metal mesh, above, covers the excavation of the ground floor.
petrat5.jpgpetrat6.jpg
Interesting the site author writes in this fashion.
Entrance into the ground floor (currently below ground height) of the Treasury it suggest when built it must have been a much lower ground than we see today. The infill brought in by the flooding?
I wonder if there are foundations under that level or another still hidden story.

Loads of fascinating pictures at that site including a couple which show other more degraded iterations of the treasury/monastery model of design in other parts of the site.
 
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Ice Nine

Ice Nine

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Great pictures guys!

Filled in by flooding and it must have been packed pretty tight since they didn't even realize there was more building under there, I rather imagine there is more to be found than what we see above ground now, not just at the Treasury. The entrance to this floor looks rather substantial. Crikey, we think this building is massive now, and then add another floor, I wonder if this is an inordinately tall doorway as well.

petrat6.jpg


It reminds me so much of the "rock cut" Churches at Lalibela,Ethiopia, if they would have kept excavating, but they must have been very tired after uncovering this.

Lalibela.jpgLalibela2.jpg
 

whitewave

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Crikey, we think this building is massive now, and then add another floor, I wonder if this is an inordinately tall doorway as well.
Steps are usually a uniform height and there are 11 of them pictured here. The top of the door seems level with the highest step so, if someone on here familiar with step heights could chime in, the height of the door could be calculated. It would only be a rough estimate because we'd have to assume the steps are the same height as today's steps which may not be the case.
 
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