The High Place of Sacrifice is one of the most significant historical and cultural sites in the Petra Archaeological Park. This place - sacred for ancient Nabateans and modern Christians alike - has captivated the imagination of visitors for centuries and has been a crucial spot for cultural, and spiritual practices for over two millennia.
History of the High Place of Sacrifice
This site was used for sacrificial rituals and is believed to have been dedicated to the gods of the Nabateans, the ancient Arab tribe who built Petra. Visitors can still see evidence of these practices in the many niches carved into the rock, which once held sacred offerings.
The High Place of Sacrifice (by Dosseman CC BY-SA 4.0)
the Nabateans, a polytheistic culture, worshiped many deities, including Dushara - the main god of the tribe - and Al Uzza, the goddess of prosperity and fertility. Archeologists found remains of grain, as well as sheep, goats, and other farm animals, sacrificed in Nabatean rituals.
Additionally, the High Place of Sacrifice is an important pilgrimage site for Christians, who believe that it was used by the Prophet Aaron, brother of Moses, as a place of worship. Many Christian visitors also come to the site to experience the spiritual energy of the place and connect with their faith.
Where is the High Place of Sacrifice?
Located on the top of the cliff shadowing the Petra Theater, getting to the High Place of Sacrifice is an adventure in itself - but the journey is just as breathtaking as the destination.
The views definitely worth your efforts (by Michael Gunther CC BY-SA 3.0)
The site is accessible through a hike from the main Petra pathway, through Wadi Al-Farasa. This valley is a scenic route that takes visitors through rugged terrain and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
The hike to the High Place of Sacrifice takes around 1-2 hours, depending on the pace of the hiker and the time of day.