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Overlooking the center of Petra rise majestically the so-called "Royal Tombs," a series of large mausoleums with impressive facades hewn from the western slope of the Jabal al-Khubtha rock massif.
It is not possible to associate them to particular Nabataean rulers, due to the lack archaeological evidence. But recent research seems to confirm their royal context. Surveys of the North-East Petra Project (NEPP) on a hill in front of al-Khubtha, postulate the area between the Wadi Musa and Wadi Mataha as the royal quarters of the Nabataean capital, where the monumental Palace Tomb could have served as "the tomb or heroon of the kings of Petra" (more on the photo pages.)
For the Corinthian Tomb right beside of it, Al-Khazneh (Treasury) obviously served as model: Crowned by a large tholos framed by a broken pediment, it has Corinthian capitals enriched with floral decoration.
While the less royal Silk Tomb attracts by the iridescent colors of its eroded façade, the magnificent Urn Tomb stands out in the mausoleums' row. Among its peculiarities, it has a two-story substructure of arched vaults, and a large colonnaded courtyard in front of it, from which you can enjoy a spectacular view over the city. The complex was converted into a Byzantine church in 446 AD.
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