TREMONT — Writer Christine Parrish will give a talk and photo tour about the ancient lost city of Petra at the Bass Harbor Memorial Library in Bernard on Thursday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.
Petra was one of the ancient Middle Eastern trading centers on a major trade route, in the red rock desert three hours south of Amman, Jordan. It was made famous as the site of the Holy Grail in the 1989 Indiana Jones movie “The Last Crusade.”
Carved into the red rock cliffs by the Nabaetaen Arabs more than 2,000 years ago, Petra was a wealthy trading center on the Arabian spice trade route that reached from the Mediterranean down through the Middle East. Before subsiding into obscurity in the 9th century, the colonnaded streets were full of traders from all corners of the world. An 18th century English explorer convinced Bedouin nomads to take him through the abandoned canyons, which are lined with towering building facades decorated with columns, leaf garlands and fruit sculpted into cornices and pediments, and decorated with sculpted images of animals and pre-Islamic gods and goddesses.
In 2007 writer Ms. Parrish went to the ancient city to interview an Australian woman who had married a Bedouin and raised her family in a cave in Petra.