Petra: Lost City of Stone

Investigate Petra and the civilization who built it

Perhaps built more than 7,000 years ago, the thriving city of Petra rose up in the bone-dry desert of what is now Jordan.

An oasis of culture and abundance, the city was built by wealthy merchants whose camel caravans transported incense and spices from the Arabian Gulf.

They carved spectacular temple-tombs into its soaring cliffs, raised a monumental Great Temple at its heart, and devised an ingenious system that channeled water to vineyards, bathhouses, fountains, and pools.

But following a catastrophic earthquake and a slump in its desert trade routes, Petra’s unique culture faded and was lost to most of the world for nearly a thousand years.

Now, in a daring experiment, an archaeologist and sculptors team up to carve an iconic temple-tomb to find out how the ancient people of Petra built their city of stone.

Meanwhile, scientists using remote sensors and hydraulic flumes uncover the vast city and its sophisticated water system.

The race is on to discover how these nomads created this oasis of culture in one of the harshest climates on Earth.

Petra: Lost City of Stone
  • Info
  • Release date2015
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Gary Glassman, Olivier Julien
  • Part of the seriesNOVA
  • Production companyProvidence Pictures