P E T R A 


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Petra, the capital of the Nabatean kingdom in present-day Jordan was built some 2000 years ago between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea at the intersection of important caravan routes. The architecture of the half-carved and half-built into the red sandstone of Wadi Musa and Wadi Farasa reflect Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek and Roman Influences. Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Zamani Project team spatially documented Petra during 8 field campaigns spanning 3 years between 2011-2014, as a part of the UNESCO Siq Stability Project. The team completed over 2000 scans and created a point cloud consisting of some 12 billion surface points. Structures documented and 3D modeled include the Siq; the Treasury (Al Khazneh); the Monastery (Ad Deir); the Urn Tomb; the Palace Tomb; the Corinthian Tomb; the Silk Tomb; the Theatre; Qasr al Bint; the Great Temple; the Temenos Gate; the Street of Facade (Facade Tombs); the Winged Lion Temple; Turkmeniyeh Tomb; the Soldier Tomb (Wadi Farasa); the Garden Tomb (Wadi Farasa); the Renaissance Tomb (Wadi Farasa); the Triclinium; the Djinn Blocks (before Siq entrance); the Obelisk Tomb (before Siq entrance) as well as the landscape of Wadi Musa and the landscape of Wadi Farasa.

The laser scanning survey of Petra is part of the Siq Stability project, which is a "Funds In Trust" project of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for UNESCO. It is managed by the UNESCO Amman Office and has as main partners Italian geological experts from ISPRA (Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research - Geological Survey of Italy), the Zamani Research Group (University of Cape Town), as well as geologists and a surveyor from the Petra National Trust. It is undertaken in cooperation with the Department of Antiquities of Jordan (DOA) and the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA).

The Zamani group is primarily responsible for the 3D modelling of the Siq, i.e. access route to the site based on terrestrial laser scanning and aerial photography, the creation of a comprehensive site GIS and database, a Virtual tour, and 3D documentation of the important tombs and structures. 

>> Read more in our PDF document: "The Petra documentation project using Laser Scanning"


> UNESCO (Amman)
> The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
> The Saville Foundation

Collaborators / Partners 

> UNESCO (Amman)
> Petra National Trust
> Department of Antiquities of Jordan (DOA)
> Italian Insti. f. Environmental Protection & Research (ISPRA)
> Petra Development & Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA)
> Z+F Zöller und Fröhlich, Germany

3D model of  Al Khazneh

Al-Khazneh (The Treasury) is one of the most elaborate temples in Petra, a city of the Nabatean Kingdom inhabited by the Arabs in ancient times.

As with most of the other buildings in this ancient town, including the Monastery (Ad Deir), this structure was carved out of a sandstone rock face.

The structure is believed to have been the mausoleum of the Nabatean King Aretas IV in the 1st century AD.

The 3D model of Theatre 

Petra Theater  is a first century AD Nabataean theatre situated 600 m from the centre of Petra. Substantial part of the theatre was carved out of solid rock, while the scaena and exterior wall were constructed.

The theatre's auditorium consists of three horizontal sections of seats separated by passageways and seven stairways to ascend. The theater could accommodate a number of approximately 8500 people, more than the estimated number of Amman theater. Petra Theatre follow similar architectural patterns of Roman theatre's, which enhances superior acoustics. (wikipedia)

The 3D model of the Urn Tomb

The most distinctive of the Royal Tombs is the Urn Tomb, recognisable by the enormous urn on top of the pediment. It was built in about AD 70 for King Malichos II (AD 40–70) or Aretas IV (8 BC–AD 40). The naturally patterned interior of the Urn Tomb measures a vast 18m by 20m.

Part of what makes the Urn Tomb such a grand structure is the flanking Doric portico cut into the rock face on the left of the tomb, and the huge open terrace in front of it – a feature that encouraged its use, according to a Greek inscription inside the tomb, as a cathedral in AD 447. (lonelyplanet.com)

3D model of the Monastery

The Monastery (Ad Deir)  is one of the legendary monuments of Petra. Similar in design to the Treasury, but far bigger (50m wide and 45m high), it was built in the 3rd century BCE as a Nabataean tomb. It derives its name from the crosses carved on the inside walls, suggestive of its use as a church in Byzantine times.

The Monastery is located high in the hills northwest of the Petra city center. The ancient rock-cut path of more than 800 steps starts from the Basin Restaurant and follows the old processional route. (Wikipedia)

3D model of the Great Temple

The so-called Great Temple at Petra is a grand monumental complex that lies south of the Colonnaded Street at Petra. It covers an area of ~7,560 m2. The complex was probably completed in the early first century CE, under the rule of Nabataean king Aretas IV, as suggested by architectural and sculptural details.

The “Great Temple” occupied a prime spot in ancient Petra: from its ruins one can now see the Siq to the Southeast, the Qasr al-Bint to the West, and the Lower Market/Petra Pool Complex to the East. (Wikipedia)

Note: Not all 3D models which were documented in Petra are displayed online.

Petra Panorama Tour

Panorama Tour of Petra

This Panorama Tour includes a selection of 53 (of almost 400 overall taken) panoramas of Petra's most commen intrest points. A dedicated Panorama Tour of the Siq is available further down.

SIQ Panorama Tour

Panorama Tour of the Siq

The Siq (al-Sīq, transcribed as-Sīq, literally 'the Shaft') is the main entrance to the ancient Nabatean city of Petra in southern Jordan.
Also known as Siqit, the main entrance in Petra is a dim, narrow gorge (in some points no more than 3 metres wide) winds its way approximately 1.2 kilometres and ends at Petra's most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh (the Treasury). (Wikipedia)

This comprehensive Panorama Tour of the Siq includes 107 panoramas.

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