The High Place of Sacrifice is located on a summit above the ancient Petra. The 700 steps climb (!) passes by two obelisks carved in the rock, each 6 m high. They are possibly representing the two chief Nabatean deities – Dushara and Al Uzzah. Perhaps the obelisks are the reason the summit is called in Arabic “Zib Attuf” (English: “The place of the merciful phallus“). On a hilltop next to it massive walls of a Crusaders era fort can also be seen. It’s stones are possible recycled from a former Nabatean or Roman building that stood at the same spot.
The High place of Sacrifice is behind the fort and consist of a shallow rectangular pool carved in the rock, perhaps to collect rain water, and next to it an altar as well as a niche to drain blood of the sacrifice. A Nabatean insciption from Madai’n selach suggest daunting possiblity that perhaps even humens were offered at this site:
“abd-Wadd, priest of Eadd, and his son Salim, and Zayd-Wadd, have consecrated the young man Salim to be immolated to Dhu Gabat“.
Book a Private Tour to Petra
Petra is in the southern part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It is about 2 hours drive from the Israeli border crossing near Eilat, and takes 3-4 hours to explore. A hike to the High place of Sacrifice is an extra 2-3 hours.
Entry into Jordan also requires setting a visa.
Points of Interest in the Area
|Petra Night Tour|
|Eight Days Tour of Jordan|