Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Message from Mr. Murphy

We continue to struggle with technology issues in Jordan. The students will try and post their comments from Mount Nebo (the place where Moses viewed the Promised Land before being taken up), an artists conclave in Madaba that specializes in mosiacs to help handicapped Jordanians, one of the greatest mosques in Amman, and some street market free time during our time at Kings Academy tomorrow afternoon. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Petra



Due to technical difficulties, our post will be a little abbreviated. We arrived at Petra after a 3 hour drive. It is an ancient city where people have been living since megalithic times. We started by descending down a valley into a gorge. Some of us got to ride horses and got to feel like Indiana Jones. The gorge itself was magnificent and towered above our heads. The gorge, unlike most canyons carved by water, was actually formed by an earthquake. It was easily a mile long, and walking through it, it was clear why the Nabateans thought this place was sacred. They revered the area and kept idols in facades carved into the rock. After a lengthy walk, the gorge opened up into a vast clearing in front of what is called the "treasury." This is the famous image of Petra that everyone knows. "Treasury" is a Bedouin name, and archaeologists are still unsure what its exact use was, though they suspect its use was more ceremonial than as a treasury. And we got our first glimpse of camels as well, which some of us, including Mr. Murphy, got to ride. What most people don't know about Petra, though, is that after the treasury there is an entire valley of ceremonial buildings, many almost as spectacular as the famous treasury. There is even a Roman theater carved into the rock. The buildings other than the treasury appear to have been used as burial sites. They have massive facades carved in the rock and chambers inside where people were buried. The exposed rock had richly colored layers. The whole place was beautiful and much more expansive and amazing than the single postcard picture people think of.

Mr. Murphy will post additional pictures tomorrow when we get a better internet connection.

Monday, March 19, 2012

From Israel to Jordan


We spent our last morning in Israel touring the ruins of Scythapolis at Beth Shean. We then crossed over the border into Jordan and spent the rest of the afternoon touring the amazing ruins of Jerash, one of the best preserved examples of Roman architecture in the world. 

An earthquake in 749 AD knocked over most of the structures


but the theatre still works! The acoustics are remarkable.
taking a rest at the former public latrines


having some fun in the main square of the town

The boys jumping at Jerash

From Israel to Jordan