Petra, described by UNESCO as 'one of the most precious culture properties of man's cultural heritage', lies in the South West of Jordan, close to the border of Gaza. The World Heritage site, which has become the symbol of Jordan, was established by the Nabatean people around 312BC, was later invaded and expanded by the Romans, and subsequently the Byzantines, and is now invaded by hoards of tourists each year who make the pilgrimage to witness the incredible feats of engineering and artistry of this early civilisation, and to pay homage to Indiana Jones..
Amongst the ruins of this ancient site, there roam a people as ancient as the carvings themselves. These are the Bedouin people of Petra ('Banū' in arabic); distant relatives of the old residents, who have moved away from their desert-bound semi-nomadic lifestyle to set up shop in providing transport for the more adventurous, and less mobile visitors.
Whether horse, mule or camel, the Banū appear to have a strong relationship with their animals, which historically enabled them to drift through the sands of surrounding deserts in search of trade and water, and which now provide them with a new form of livelihood in the tourist trade.