Royal Tombs – Petra

The Royal Tombs of Petra (a collective image can be seen in the first photo) are made of four distinct tombs: the Urn Tomb, the Silk Tomb, the Corinthian Tomb, and the Palace Tomb. The four tombs lie across from the Roman theater and overlook the main walkway of Petra.

The Urn Tomb (photos 2-6) is characterized by a recessed facade above a series of arches over a two-tiered vault known as the sijin (prison). The Urn Tomb is the largest of the tombs with an immense courtyard and interior main chamber (6th photo). It was believed to have been carved around 70 AD and was later used as a Byzantine church.

The Silk Tomb (7th photo), is a small tomb to the left of the Urn Tomb. Although not as large of ornately decorated, the Silk Tomb takes its name from the rich color of the stone it was carved from. Upon closer look, the Silk Tomb is one of the most colorful tombs in Petra.

The Corinthian Tomb (photos 8-11), supposedly a replica of Nero’s Golden Palace in Rome, is to the right of the Urn Tomb. What is striking about the Corinthian Tomb is its resemblance to the Treasury. Although smaller, the architecture looks very similar, albeit worn and seemingly unfinished.

The Palace Tomb (photos 8, 9, 12, 13), is named so because it appears like a palace. Although heavily eroded, one can still make out the three levels decorated with pillars and columns. Unusually, this tomb has four rooms, whereas the other tombs in Petra have one or two.

The four tombs together make up another unexpectedly amazing site. The Royal Tombs hold a key location overlooking the rest of the city, as directly in front of them lies the…

~ by jonathanmtsai on December 5, 2010.

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