Khirbet et-Tannur

Part of the Petra exhibition.

Astral god

Petra was the Nabataean capital of commerce, but there were many other permanent settlements in fertile areas and along the caravan routes. Each town had its own temples and altars dedicated to one or more Nabataean deities. The layout and architectural style and the personality of the god or goddess worshipped within usually reflected influences and traditions from the region.

Cult Statue of Qaws

Khirbet et-Tannur was an isolated high place of worship situated off the beaten path. This sanctuary stood on the summit of Jebel Tannur, a 1,000-foot-high (300-meter-high) ridge located roughly 45 miles (70 kilometers) north of Petra. Its remote setting--far removed from a water source--hints that Tannur was a likely pilgrimage site. It was also an ideal spot to observe the relationship between the constellations and planets.