Could new discoveries in Petra, the lost city of rock, indicate the site of Israel’s fortress in the end times?
Archeologists Sarah Parcak, a National Geographic fellow, and Christopher Tuttle, with the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, have recently located a unique platform structure using satellite technology. The platform measures 184 by 161 feet but contains a second platform, built on top that includes columns and a staircase.
The ruins of Petra are found south of Amman and its strategic significance can be found in the origins of its name in both Greek and Hebrew, Petra and Sela the word for rock in both languages. Sela, as it is known in the Bible, was literally carved from stone and served as both a defensive position and trade hub for millennia.
Believed to have been built by the Nabateans as their capital in 312 BCE, shortly after the time of Alexander the Great, it was rediscovered in 1812 and only today with satellite imagery have archeologists been able to piece together some of the discoveries made on the ground.
Remarkable for being a city carved into the cliffs, the Bible describes in the books of Obediah and Jeremiah the stone cities carved from the mountain by the Nabateans, descendants of the Biblical Edom. Rome would later conquer Petra and garrison it, recognizing its value for trade as well as its natural qualities as a fortress.
Ancient peoples often situated fortresses on hilltops, and there are several such strong points near Petra, while trade centers occupied valleys where travel was easier. Petra is able to fulfill both roles, accessible to trade while its natural rock faces served as a choke point for invading armies of the ancient world and could defend against bombs and artillery of the modern world, even radiation, some experts speculate.
But if the city lies in ruins, why are recent discoveries significant? Biblical prophecy suggests a yet future role for this city in the end of days, often known as a time period from the Book of Revelation called “The Great Tribulation”.
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