Petra: Lost City of Stone Coming to Calvin College

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ — Petra: Lost City of Stone is the most comprehensive exhibition ever presented on the ancient, Middle Eastern city of Petra and its creators — the Nabataeans. And it’s coming to Michigan.

The exhibition will be at Calvin College in its Prince Conference Center from April 4 to August 15, 2005.

It opened in New York City in October 2003 for a nine-month showing and then traveled to Cincinnati for a September 2004 to January 2005 run. After Calvin it will travel to Calgary and Ottawa.

Calvin president Dr. Gaylen Byker is a frequent traveler to the Middle East, including Petra, Jordan, and he says the upcoming exhibition will help people better understand that part of the world.

“The city of Petra is one of the very best archaeological sites in the world for experiencing what life was like in the Middle East at the time of Christ,” he says. “What’s exciting for me is how the exhibition allows people to experience Petra — its history, its art, its architecture, its engineering prowess and its importance in the Middle East, a region of the world that we all need to better understand.”

Petra: Lost City of Stone was almost a decade in the making, having first been conceived in 1994 by the Cincinnati Art Museum, which then joined forces with the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City in a monumental effort to gather the 200 exceptional objects that comprise the traveling exhibit.

Items on display include stone sculptures and reliefs, ceramics, metalwork, architectural elements, terracotta or ancient water pipes, artworks in various media and other fascinating artifacts. All are on loan from collections in Jordan and throughout Europe and the United States. Many are on display in the United States for the first time.

All told the exhibit will be spread out across 7,000 square feet at Calvin’s Prince Conference Center, which will undergo significant modifications to host Petra: Lost City of Stone.

Among the highlights of the exhibition are several pieces recently discovered by archaeologists working in Jordan, as well as a monumental bust of Dushara, on public display outside Jordan for the first time. The bust is almost four feet tall and weighs some 2,100 pounds!

Organized by the American Museum of Natural History and the Cincinnati Art Museum, and presented under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, Petra is the first major cultural collaboration between Jordan and the United States. Air transportation generously provided by Royal Jordanian. Also see

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