Petra and Al Khazneh

February 19, 2010

Petra sandstone1

Photographer: Pierantonio Mognol
Summary Author: Pierantonio Mognol; Jim Foster

February 2010 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's ChoiceThe photo above shows Al Khazneh, "the Treasury," carved in a nearly vertical sandstone cliff, just at the end of a narrow canyon referred to as the Siq. This is the common entrance into the historical site of Petra in what is today the nation of Jordan. Ancient Petra was likely constructed in the first century BC and is well known for its monuments and also its variegated sandstone, ranging from pure white, to stripes with red and yellow hues, to deep black (bottom photo). Compare the rich, original coloration of the sandstone with the monochrome coating of the doorway’s carved surface. Petra was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. Photo taken on March 11, 1993.