Photo by Jane Taylor/Sonia Halliday Photographs

Most visitors’ first sight of Petra is the Khasneh el-Faroun, or Treasury of the Pharaoh (glimpsed here through a narrow maw at the end of the Siq). Carved into the face of one of Petra’s famous “rose-red” cliffs, this Nabataean monument has a 65-foot-tall colonnaded facade, which is lavishly decorated with scenes from Greek and Nabataean mythology. Most archaeologists believe it was built during the reign of the Nabataean king Aretas III Philhellene (86–62 B.C.). The structure’s name derives from a local Bedouin belief that Petra once housed the riches of the Egyptian pharaohs; in the 19th century, Bedouins fired rifles at the urn on top of the Treasury (visible at the upper left of the picture), in the hope that it would shatter and release a shower of gold.