The name “Treasury” is not Nabatean, and derives from the local name for such a seemingly inexplicable construction – Khaznet al-Faraoun (“Treasury of the Pharaoh”). Unaware of classical history, and unable to fathom why anyone should carve such a monument, the bedouin tagged it as the work of the pharaoh, lord of black magic. In pursuit of the Israelites after the Exodus (the legend goes), the pharaoh was slowed down by having to carry all his treasure, so he created the Treasury and deposited his riches in the urn at the very top of the facade, out of human reach. For centuries after Petra’s abandonment, bedouin marksmen tried to shatter the urn, and so release the treasure, but to no avail: their only success was in blasting chunks off the solid urn.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Jordan features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

12 of the most beautiful places in the Middle East

12 of the most beautiful places in the Middle East

The Middle East is a paradox. Located at the cultural crossroads between east and west, the region nowadays tends to make headlines for all the wrong reasons, b…

16 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
Middle Eastern majesty: 17 beautiful pictures of Jordan

Middle Eastern majesty: 17 beautiful pictures of Jordan

We chose Jordan as one of the top destinations to visit in 2016, and after looking at these stunning photographs from Picfair's best photographers, you'll und…

31 Oct 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Twenty places to make you feel insignificant

Twenty places to make you feel insignificant

French novelist Gustave Flaubert once said: “Travelling makes one modest – you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world”. With this in mind, here a…

27 Aug 2014 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month