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Siq

OLogy Series
place
card
226

Siq

OLogy Series
place

Imagine you are an Arabian incense trader in 100 B.C. Arriving in Petra, you enter through the Siq—a long, winding gorge cut into the rocks surrounding the city. Towering cliffs cut off the sunlight along the narrow passageway. As you round the final bend, you get your first glimpse of the city—a grand monument cut into the cliffs.

At the end of the Siq, right before it opened into the valley of Petra, was a monumental:

pyramid

welcome sign

arched gateway

Are you right?

Correct!

An arched gateway was built at the end of the Siq. It collapsed during an earthquake in 1896, but there are still traces of it in the rock.

Along the canyon walls of the Siq are elaborate carvings, or reliefs. One relief shows a larger-than-life caravan of:

elephants

horses

camels

Are you right?

Correct!

The relief along the wall of the Siq shows a caravan of camels. Camels were vital to desert travel. They could carry heavy loads, go days without water, and eat rough desert plants.

The people of Petra carved the Siq themselves out of the rocks.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

An earthquake probably caused a crack that began the formation of the Siq. Over time, as the water and erosion wore away at the rocks causing the opening known as the Siq.

What: the main entrance into the ancient city of Petra
Description: a winding passageway between two cliffs
Length:about two kilometers (6,561 feet)
Height: about 80 meters (262 feet)
Width: as narrow as five meters (16 feet)
Cool fact:The passage was once paved with cobblestones.

Image credits: courtesy of courtesy of Jordan Tourism Board North America.