Petra is variously known as the rose-red city, due to the colour of the rock, or the canyon city, as a lot of the buildings and tombs are carved into the sides of a long thin canyon. People that saw the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade will recognise the Siq opening up onto the building known as the Khasneh (Treasury). Petra was one of the major cities in the middle east during the 1st to 4th centuries A.D. Occupied by a people called the Nabateans, Petra was taken into the Roman Empire by Trajan in 106 A.D. Estimated to have had a population of 20,000 it was an important source of luxury goods, in particular perfumes and poisons! It is reckoned at its peak, due to the high value goods it traded, to have been responsible for 20% of the GDP of the Roman Empire.
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