Petra

Auge, Christian and Jean-Marie Dentzer. Petra: Lost City of the Ancient World. New York: Discoveries: Henry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers, 2000.

Reason read: Speaking of lost cities, the first Indiana Jones movie was released in May.

When you think of the word ‘extinct’ most likely you think of dinosaurs, the woolly mammoth, maybe even the dodo bird. Cities don’t readily come to mind. Petra is one such extinct city hidden deep in the landscape of Jordan. What is so unique about Petra is that all of its structures were carved out of the towering rocks around it, creating a unique fortress. For centuries a civilization lived and breathed within Petra until the Crusaders bullied it into ruin and ultimate desolation. Petra was abandoned and forgotten until 1812 when explorer Johann Burckhardt stumbled across it’s shadowy beauty. Auge and Dentzer bring Petra’s art and architecture into the light in a mere 125+ pages. Before you even delve into the text of Petra you are treated to seven pages of glossy gorgeous photos, giving you a sense of why, since 1985, the city has been on the UNESCO list of world-heritage sites.
The only drawback to the tiny book is that text and absolutely stunning photographs are crammed together on the page. Every photograph has a lengthy description definitely worth reading. Because of the cramped space the flow of reading was at time, choppy. I decided it was better to read the text and then go back to study the photographs and read the descriptions.

Author(s) fact: Auge is a specialist in ancient coins and Dentzer is a professor.

Book trivia: this is my first experience with the Discoveries series and I’d like to think all of their books are like this, but Petra has gorgeous illustrations.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called simply “Jordan” (p 120).



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