The Lost City of Petra: Unlocking its Hidden Mysteries

University of Arkansas

Tom Paradise is a geosciences professor and the former Director of the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas. His diverse background includes geosciences, architectural and historic/material preservation, cartography/GIS, and Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and North African regional studies. Having researched the unique architecture of Petra, Jordan since 1990, he has published more than sixty articles, reports, and chapters on Petra and Wadi Rum and continues to advise the US, UNESCO, and foreign agencies on cultural heritage management and architectural deterioration. Professor Paradise was a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Jordan and has taught abroad in Rome, Amman, Venice and Tunis. A documentary consultant for Nova, NatGeo, Discovery, and Smithsonian Channels, his award-winning Nova special, PETRA: Lost City of Stone (2016), is one of PBS’ highest rated specials.


In 2,000, Petra was named one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World.” Forever immortalized in the finale of the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” this famous archeological site was inhabited since prehistoric times, and contains tombs and temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs — earning the location its nickname, the “Rose City.” Join Professor Thomas Paradise as he takes us on a visually stunning tour of The Lost City of Petra, discussing the ancient city’s architecture, history, landscape, and people along the way. From the hidden entry at Wadi Musa to the enigmatic monastery nestled in the faraway peaks of the valley in Jordan, Paradise will share his passion, insight, and rare perspective from more than three decades of living, teaching, researching, and mentoring in the “rose-red city half as old as time” that remained hidden and forgotten for over 1,000 years.




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Jumana Rosshandler


Great lecture, loved it.

2 years ago
Karen Boctor


Well described! I was there long ago, so it was interesting to learn about the changes.

2 years ago
Elaine Lackritz

Petra , the past and its future

What a wonderful presentation. Having a expert and current explorer give this talk, made it an alive and most interesting study of a ancient city and its surrounding structures.
It would most definitely be on my Bucket List to visit.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge with a hungry audience .

2 years ago


Fascinating lecture. Great pictures. I almost felt like I was right there.

2 years ago
Joy Morros


So fascinating. You feel like you must visit. Great presenter.

2 years ago
MaryCarol Hicks


I have long loved Petra, but learned so much for his unique experience and perspective. His passion is clear and really brings the whole monument to life. I can’t wait to visit!

2 years ago
Sarah Fry

Just terrific!

I may or may not ever get to Petra in person, but watching this presentation was the next best thing. Thank you, Dr. Paradise, for your enthusiastic, informative, well presented and illustrated lecture. So much to follow up on!

6 months ago
Candace Cundiff

Captivating Site

What a fascinating lecture. I really enjoyed it, the commentary and the photos.

5 months ago
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