Jordània, dia 4: visita a Petra, un somni fet realitat (31 de desembre de 2017) (III)
The site suffers from a host of threats, including collapse of ancient structures, erosion from flooding and improper rainwater drainage, weathering from salt upwelling, improper restoration of ancient structures and unsustainable tourism. The last has increased substantially, especially since the site received widespread media coverage in 2007 during the New Seven Wonders of the World Internet and cellphone campaign.
In an attempt to reduce the impact of these threats, the Petra National Trust (PNT) was established in 1989. It has worked with numerous local and international organizations on projects that promote the protection, conservation, and preservation of the Petra site. Moreover, UNESCO and ICOMOS recently collaborated to publish their first book on human and natural threats to the sensitive World Heritage sites. They chose Petra as its first and the most important example of threatened landscapes. A book released in 2012, Tourism and Archaeological Heritage Management at Petra: Driver to Development or Destruction?, was the first in a series of important books to address the very nature of these deteriorating buildings, cities, sites, and regions. The next books in the series of deteriorating UNESCO World Heritage Sites will include Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, and Pompeii.
The Nabataeans worshipped Arab gods and goddesses during the pre-Islamic era as well as a few of their deified kings. One, Obodas I, was deified after his death. Dushara was the primary male god accompanied by his three female deities: Al-‘Uzzá, Allat and Manāt. Many statues carved in the rock depict these gods and goddesses. New evidence indicates that broader Edomite, and Nabataean theology had strong links to Earth-Sun relationships, often manifested in the orientation of prominent Petra structures to equinox and solstice sunrises and sunsets.
A stele dedicated to Qos-Allah 'Qos is Allah' or 'Qos the god', by Qosmilk (melech – king) is found at Petra (Glueck 516). Qos is identifiable with Kaush (Qaush) the God of the older Edomites. The stele is horned and the seal from the Edomite Tawilan near Petra identified with Kaush displays a star and crescent (Browning 28), both consistent with a moon deity. It is conceivable that the latter could have resulted from trade with Harran (Bartlett 194). There is continuing debate about the nature of Qos (qaus – bow) who has been identified both with a hunting bow (hunting god) and a rainbow (weather god) although the crescent above the stele is also a bow.
Nabatean inscriptions in Sinai and other places display widespread references to names including Allah, El and Allat (god and goddess), with regional references to al-Uzza, Baal and Manutu (Manat) (Negev 11). Allat is also found in Sinai in South Arabian language. Allah occurs particularly as Garm-'allahi – god dedided (Greek Garamelos) and Aush-allahi – 'gods covenant' (Greek Ausallos). We find both Shalm-lahi 'Allah is peace' and Shalm-allat, 'the peace of the goddess'. We also find Amat-allahi 'she-servant of god' and Halaf-llahi 'the successor of Allah'.
The Monastery, Petra's largest monument, dates from the 1st century BC. It was dedicated to Obodas I and is believed to be the symposium of Obodas the god. This information is inscribed on the ruins of the Monastery (the name is the translation of the Arabic "Ad Deir").
Christianity found its way to Petra in the 4th century AD, nearly 500 years after the establishment of Petra as a trade center. Athanasius mentions a bishop of Petra (Anhioch. 10) named Asterius. At least one of the tombs (the "tomb with the urn"?) was used as a church. An inscription in red paint records its consecration "in the time of the most holy bishop Jason" (447). After the Islamic conquest of 629–632 Christianity in Petra, as of most of Arabia, gave way to Islam. During the First Crusade Petra was occupied by Baldwin I of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and formed the second fief of the barony of Al Karak (in the lordship of Oultrejordain) with the title Château de la Valée de Moyse or Sela. It remained in the hands of the Franks until 1189. It is still a titular see of the Catholic Church.
Two Crusader-period castles are known in and around Petra. The first is al-Wu'ayra and is situated just north of Wadi Musa. It can be viewed from the road to "Little Petra". It is the castle of Valle Moise which was seized by a band of Turks with the help of local Muslims and only recovered by the Crusaders after they began to destroy the olive trees of Wadi Musa. The potential loss of livelihood led the locals to negotiate surrender. The second is on the summit of el-Habis in the heart of Petra and can be accessed from the West side of the Qasr al-Bint.
According to Arab tradition, Petra is the spot where Moses (Musa) struck a rock with his staff and water came forth, and where Moses' brother, Aaron (Harun), is buried, at Mount Hor, known today as Jabal Haroun or Mount Aaron. The Wadi Musa or "Wadi of Moses" is the Arab name for the narrow valley at the head of which Petra is sited. A mountaintop shrine of Moses' sister Miriam was still shown to pilgrims at the time of Jerome in the 4th century, but its location has not been identified since. ”
La ciutat de Petra, tot i que mai va restar perduda pels oriünds, sí que la mantenien amagada dels visitants estrangers. De fet, el que la va redescobrir pel món occidental, el suís Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, ho va fer disfressat de beduí (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Ludwig_Burckhardt ).
Petra fou construïda pels nabateus, una tribu nòmada del desert que esdevingué sedentària. Encara avui en dia l’arqueologia desconeix moltes coses sobre aquesta misteriosa tribu que esdevingué la reina dels deserts. Sembla que ser que la seva font de riquesa provenia de fer pagar tributs a les caravanes de comerç que connectaven Orient i Occident i que fer força, havien de creuar els seus dominis. A part d’això, sembla ser que, gràcies al seu gran coneixement del desert, ells mateixos també van esdevenir comerciants, bàsicament d’encens, molt apreciat en aquell temps (https://ca.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encens; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incense ) i que es conta que “L'encens (del llatí incensum, participi d'incendere, encendre), és una goma resina fragrant que desprèn una olor característica quan es crema. L'encens s'obté de quatre espècies de plantes arbustives del gènere Boswèl·lia, sobretot de la Boswellia sacra (https://ca.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boswellia_sacra ), i en menor mesura de Boswellia serrata i Boswellia glabra. Aquestes plantes creixen a les regions meridionals de la península Aràbiga i a la costa d'Àfrica Oriental.
La resina es comercialitza en forma de diversos graus de qualitat i de puresa. No és segur que el producte utilitzat actualment correspongui exactament amb la substància que es feia servir en l'antiguitat. Antigament hom pensava que l'encens provenia de l'arbre Juniperus lycia L. Va ser una font important de comerç, fins al punt de crear-se la ruta de l'encens per al seu transport.
La goma s'obté mitjançant incisions al tronc i és olorosa en cremar-se. S'utilitza com a perfum i com a fumigatori. Té també propietats medicinals.
En temps antics l'encens s'ha utilitzat com a element molt important en rituals i cerimònies religioses, especialment en el budisme, el cristianisme, i l'hinduisme. A la Bíblia el fet que el fum s'envolés cap amunt simbolitzava l'acceptació del sacrifici. ”(Continuarà)
(La imatge és del tresor de Petra, vist des de dalt)