An empire in ruins • An empire in ruins

By the time new Arab invaders flooded into the area, they found very little of what the Nabataeans had built over their centuries-long history. Instead, their land had been divvied up by successive occupying powers, and many of the warriors’ descendants had become peasants. Even the glorious Petra lost its luster until 1812, when Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss explorer, introduced Westerners to its beauty. Photo Credit: Western Eyes Photography / Getty Images

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