High Place of Sacrifice Petra
Who built it: The main steps to the high place start just before the amphitheater. The picture on the right is looking down onto the tent beside the stairs. People are starting up the stairs for the assent to the High Place. Everyone seems to have a different count but the general consensus is that it is over eight hundred. If you are adventurous you can always take a donkey ride, but watch those corners! Below: Your destination 700 steps up the mountain!
Why was it built: The Nabataean priests used this place, to perform religious rituals to make sacrifices to their gods. They used it to lead the commoners in the dark using burning incense and playing weird music to commune with the gods.
Explanation: On the top of the stairs of the sacrificial place, there are a couple of obelisks dedicated to the Nabataean gods. To the right was another peak with a rocky path leading to the two alters at the edge of the mountain. The Circular stone alter was used for killing the animals, allowing blood to drain down a carved channel, while the priest cleansed his hands in the cistern cut into the rock. The High Alter, a few feet to the right, was where the actual burning and offering of sacrifices took place. There was a large platform near the alters for the commoners sat to watch the sacrifices and to partake in the ceremonies. The views from this high place were spectacular, as we could see the entire valley of Petra.
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