The abandoned city of Petra lies in a remote valley basin in the Shara mountains in southern Jordan. In ancient times it was the capital of the reign of the Nabateans. While the area had been settled since paleolithic times due to its convenient location and supply of water, the city was founded by the Nabateans around the 5th century BC. The city started declining following the Roman conquest in the 2nd century AD. In the 7th century AD the city was finally abandoned and forgotten. It was rediscovered in 1812 by Jean Louis Burckhardt, a Swiss traveller. Nowadays Petra consists of ruins spread over the valley basin and of monumental tombs carved into the rock, of which the Treasury and the Monastery are the most famous. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985.
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