Petra: A Brief History

Petra: A Brief History by David W. Tschanz, is an easy-to-read, popular history of one of the world’s most fabled cities and the mysterious people who built it. This is the ideal book for anyone who wants to know the entire story behind the "rose-red city half as old as time," and the little-known Nabataeans, who carved Petra from the living rock of Jordan's Sharah Mountains. The author, with a dramatic flair, explains how geography and geology made the eventual site of Petra the most attractive real estate in the Middle East. He then tells the story of how the Nabataeans, coming from Arabia, moved into the region and established their capital there in the fifth century BCE. Within a few decades, Petra was the headquarters of a vast commercial empire that controlled the East-West trade in incense, myrrh, spices, and silk, from borderland between Syria and Arabia, and the Euphrates to the Red Sea. Incredibly wealthy, they were best known to their contemporaries for their hydraulic engineering, pottery, and monumental buildings. Looking to guard their fortunes, they foiled Antony and Cleopatra’s escape, opposed the Herods and built a southern capital, Madain Salih, in Saudi Arabia. How they came to be, what they achieved and what happened to them, is a tale worth reading.

Petra: A Brief History is not another guidebook. It is a journey to understanding the whys, wherefores, and hows of these fabled people based on present-day scholarship. This new title is published during the 200th anniversary "rediscovery" of Petra by the Swiss traveler Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. It is unique because it provides a popular account of the two major Nabataean sites: Petra in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as well as its important sister city of Madain Salih in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Both are UNESCO World Heritage sites the author, who has spent 23 years in the Middle East, knows intimately. To sample or purchase Petra: A Brief History: For Kindle device users: Purchase in the Aramco ExPats Suq. For all other devices and a PDF edition, visit  Smashwords. About the author: David Tschanz was born in Connecticut and moved to Saudi Arabia in 1989. David is a well-regarded historian and travel writer whose fascination with the Nabataeans dates back three decades. He has made over 40 visits to both sites including trips leading study groups. With over 950 published articles and eight books on topics ranging from ancient civilizations to computer technology, he brings an eclectic approach to his subjects. If you are interested in learning more about the history of the Middle East and Saudi Arabia, please visit the Aramco ExPats Speakers Bureau.