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Trip to Jordan - Google Translation

The Siq

  1. Entrance to the Siq
  2. The Siq
  3. Camel Relief Sculpture
  4. Votive Niche
  5. Water channels
  6. Check Dam
  7. Roman Water Channel and Pavement
  8. Photo Gallery

 

Entrance to the Siq


This natural fault in the rock is the principal entrance into Petra today, as it was in ancient times. The ancient road bed has been paved over in modern times for use by horse-carts and service vehicles, although inside the Siq it is still visible in some places.

The Siq

The Siq widens briefly at the point shown here, about 335m (1100') from the entrance. Just to the left of the fig tree, there is an outcrop of sandstone with a carved niche on its opposite face . A bit of original Roman pavement is visible in the foreground.

 

With spectacular views like this appear often in the Siq, in places where the narrow, cliff-shadowed trail suddenly opens to reveal a burst of sunlight. Most visitors are happy to walk the 3/4-mile length of the Siq, although a jolting horse-cart ride is also available; a leisurely walk is by far the best way to appreciate the natural beauty of this place.

 

Camel Relief Sculpture
 

Camel Relief Sculpture

This life-sized relief, of five camels and their drivers, is located on the left wall of the Siq as one progresses towards Petra. It celebrates the caravan trade that formed the basis of Nabataean wealth and influence. The relief is now badly eroded, but one can make out a few details on its lower portion, such as the lower body of a camel driver.

When Petra ceased to be inhabited, the elaborate system of dams and channels that kept its waters in check was no longer maintained. Floods poured through the Siq, completely scouring away most of the relief. Eventually, water-borne silt buried the floor of the Siq to a depth of more than six feet, preserving what was left of the lower part of the relief. In modern times, the silt was excavated away, and the ancient flood control system was restored.


Votive Niche

Sandstone Outcrop

Petra - The siqThe niche's carved facade resembles others at Petra; on its lintel, triglyphs frame a concentric-circle motif (compare: frieze of the Deir). Two betyls, of unequal height, are carved side-by-side within the niche. It is not known which gods are depicted. Near the top of the left-hand betyl, two carved squares indicate the eyes of the deity, with a schematic nose between them. The eroded right-hand betyl is decorated similarly. Small holes, at the top of the niche and on either end of the architrave, once held dowels for affixing bronze plaques. (see photo - right)

 

Votive Niche

 

Both iconic and aniconic depictions of gods are well-represented at Petra, although many figural representations were destroyed by later iconoclasts. The destroyed carving here must be one such. A square tenon, to which an anthropomorphic figure would once have been attached, can still be seen above the horned altar. (see photo - left)

 

  

Votive Niche


The niche presents three baetyls side-by side, underneath an arch supported by pilasters. Its surface pattern of chisel-marks indicates that the niche was abandoned before completion. (see photo - right)

Votive Niche

 

A horned altar is set inside an elaborate portico with triangular pediment. Another architrave, together with the tops of six columns, is visible above (that is, perspectivally "behind") the portico. A presumed anthromorphic figure upon the altar has been destroyed. (see photo - left)

 

 

Water channels

Water Channel

Water channels on both sides of the Siq carried water from the Ain Musa ("Spring of Moses," a few kilometers east of the site) down somewhere into Petra.

Their exact destination, after they leave the Siq, is not known. The Ain Musa was a principal, although not the only, supplier of water to Petra, distributed via the Wadi Musa ("Stream of Moses") to various cisterns around the city.

The Wadi Musa itself originally ran through the Siq, but the Nabataeans diverted its flow to keep the approach to the city from being flooded. (see photo - right)

   
Check Dam

Check Dam

 

Dams like this one "check" (i.e., mitigate) the force of water that rushes down the Siq during the rainy season. Long neglected, they were rebuilt in modern times, in order to protect the Siq from further water damage.  (see photo - left)

 

 

 

 

Roman Water Channel and Pavement
 

Roman Water Channel and Pavement

Alongside these exposed flagstones of Roman pavement, the excavators rebuilt a short section of the Roman water channel.

Along the southern cliff (this photo), stone slabs enclosed the exposed parts of the channel, keeping it clean of sand and debris. On the other side, though, a high-pressure ceramic pipe was laid in the channel

 

 

Photo Gallery:

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Petra - The siq Petra - The siq Petra - The siq Petra - The siq Petra - The siq
Petra - The siq Petra - The siq Petra - The siq Petra - The siq Petra - The siq
Petra - The siq Petra - The siq Petra - The siq Petra - The siq Petra - The siq

       
    Click to enlarge