Tag: Christian Auge

Review – Petra: The Rose-Red City

Posted July 8, 2024 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Review – Petra: The Rose-Red City

Petra: The Rose-Red City

by Jean-Marie Dentzer, Christian Auge

Genres: History, Non-fiction
Pages: 128
Rating: three-stars

Deep in the desert of Jordan lies the hidden city of Petra, one of the greatest marvels of the ancient world. Carved from rose-red rock, Petra’s monuments, dwellings and temples were for centuries the centre of a splendid civilization.

Later the city fell into ruin and its location was lost, until the Swiss explorer Johann Burckhardt rediscovered it in 1812. Petra’s mysterious beauty and dramatic story have long captivated the imaginations of historians and art lovers. Excavations by the authors Christian Augé and Jean-Marie Dentzer provide new information about this unique city.

Before reading this, I knew very little about Petra — I’d seen a few images of it, knew roughly where it was, etc, but I didn’t know anything about the Nabateans and their lives in their city. Christian Auge and Jean-Marie Dentzer’s Petra: The Rose-Red City is a pretty slim volume, but richly illustrated, and carefully contextualises the images in terms of what we know.

Which is less than I expected, to be honest. Not much archaeological work had been completed in and around Petra relative to the size of the ruins at around the time of writing, and preservation work had barely begun, if at all. I’d love to find something more up-to-date about Petra, but it was fascinating to get this glimpse.

That said, sometimes the organisation of text, images and captions left something to be desired. The pages are very busy, and the flow is unintuitive sometimes.

Rating: 3/5

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