Segments in this Video

Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan (06:15)


The Nabateans are the builders of Petra. Lin and antiquities supervisor Mohammed Domeian Al Zalabieh examine and geotag Nabatean rock art and follow the signs to the nearest waterhole. Geotagging data helps reveal trade routes; Frankincense was the Nabateans’ most profitable product.

Jordanian Desert (03:38)

Aerial archaeologist Dr. Robert Bewley and Lin follow an ancient highway to a rocky plateau. Ancient writings indicate there is a Nabatean city in the mountains that predates Petra.

Tafilah Region (06:54)

Mohammad Najjar, Ahmad Marafi, Lin, and Lin's team climb 3,000 feet above sea level to summit the plateau. The location makes Sela a natural fortress. The team LiDAR scans the plateau.

Sela, Jordan (05:51)

Lin searches for clues that indicate the area was once a Nabatean settlement. He discovers pottery, a stairway, and a dwelling. LiDAR data reveals 51 underground water tanks. Moving from tents to caves is an important shift in Nabatean history.

Amman and Khirbet edh-Dharih (07:16)

Lin scans Nabatean relics at the Jordan Museum. He explores the ruins of Khirbet edh-Dharih and examines the temple where Nabatean kings made sacrifices. Lin and his team scan the city and merge data, creating a 3D rendering of the temple.

Petra, Jordan (06:03)

The ancient Nabatean city has postholes like those at Sela; the architecture becomes more elaborate as money increases. Princess Dana Firas and Lin examine a fresco that suggests the area was once fertile and green; the Nabateans created water channels, and cisterns.

Wadi Baqa', Petra Region (05:58)

Archaeologists believe a massive rock wall is part of a Nabatean water distribution system that created fertile land for crop cultivation. LiDAR scans reveal terraces, dams, cisterns, and channels throughout the hinterlands of Petra. (Credits)

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Episode 5: Petra's Hidden Origins (Lost Cities with Albert Lin)

Part of the Series : Lost Cities with Albert Lin
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



National Geographic Explorer Albert Lin travels to Petra, Jordan, to discover the origins of the famous city. He finds out that it was built by the Nabataeans, a mysterious civilization that learned how to survive in the desert. He tracks down evidence of their cities and temples, and reveals that the ancient city of Petra was part of a much bigger network than he ever imagined.

Length: 45 minutes

Item#: BVL283894

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

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