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Ancient Petra discussed March 16

Mar 9, 2012 - Staff

Riverton clergyman Kurt Schafli hosts an informational session titled "Petra: Death/Life" at 7 p.m. next Friday, March 16, at the Riverton Branch Library, 1330 West Park in Riverton.

In Petra, people known as the Nabataeans carved huge temples and tombs out of colorful sandstone.

"Their architecture shows Assyrian, Egyptian and roman influence, indicating that they traded during peaceful times," Schafli said.

In war times, they could take shelter behind a narrow gorge called the "siq," which could be defended against intruders.

"I biblical times it was called 'Sela" i the land of Seir," Schafli said. "Isaiah had prophesied against this proud settlement and, like always, archaeology demonstrates that God's word had bee fulfilled to the letter.'

Schafli said Petra had been largely forgotten for centuries before being "rediscovered" in 1812 by explorers and scholars.

Schafli has visited Petra and plans to share many photographs of the surviving Nabataean stone structures during a discussion of the site, the people and their preoccupation with life after death.

Schafli will lead discussion on aspects of Egyptian notions of the afterlife compared to the biblical perspective.

Admission to the program is free.

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