From the 6th century BC, Petra was the dominant capital of the Nabataean empire. After which the empire was absorbed in the Roman Empire in 106 AD and the Romans continued to expand the city. An important center for trade and commerce, Petra continued development until a devastating earthquake destroyed buildings. After this, after the conquest of Muslim Sultan Saladin of Middle East in 1189 AD, Petra was abandoned by Christians.
After the formation of Trans-Jordan, the first real excavation of the site was in 1929 AD. Since that time, Petra has partly become Jordan's biggest tourist attraction due to the exposure of Steven Spielberg's film "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" in 1989. Petra was chosen as one of the world's seven new wonders in July 2007 due to Petra's outstanding engineering achievements and well-protected dimensions.