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PetraThe On-site Experience

“Unlike the tourists who shuffle through in groups, we explored these wonders with a keen appreciation of historical context, with the time and leisure to indulge our interest to the fullest.”

If you've seen the ruins and artifacts of the ancient city of Petra in an Indiana Jones movie, just wait until you see them in person.

That's what a group of Transylvania students did in May 2011 when they traveled with classics professor Frank Russell and religion professor Paul Jones through the iron-age and classical sites of Israel and Jordan to study the connections between the cultures and religious traditions of the past and their legacies in the present.

"We found treasures far beyond the photo ops—elaborate complexes devoted to gods who merged Nabataean and Roman forms, passage architecture that directs movement and frames views, and tomb after tomb hewn from the living rock, some adorned with inscriptions in Greek and Nabataean," said Russell. "Unlike the tourists who shuffle through in groups, we explored these wonders with a keen appreciation of historical context, with the time and leisure to indulge our interest to the fullest."

Back on campus, students supplemented their experience abroad by reading literature and exploring the region's art and ideas with their classmates and mentors. Watching Indiana Jones swashbuckle his way among the ruins will never be the same again.

Petra

Learn more about our May term travel courses and study abroad opportunities.

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