Rekem (Petra, Pel, Sela, Seir)
The History of Petra begins with the Kites and cairns of gazelle hunters going back into the acermaic neolithic. Evidence suggests that settlements had begun in and around there in the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. It is listed in Egyptian campaign accounts and the Amarna letters as Pel, Sela or Seir). Though the city was founded relatively late, a sanctuary existed there since very ancient times. Stations 19 through 26 of the stations list of Exodus are places associated with Petra and it is refered to there as the cleft in the rock. This part of the country was biblically assigned to the Horites, the predecessors of the Edomites. The habits of the original natives may have influenced the Nabataean custom of burying the dead and offering worship in half-excavated caves. Although Petra is usually identified with Sela which also means a rock, the Biblical references refer to it as the cleft in the rock, referring to its entrance. In the parallel passage, however, Sela is understood to mean simply "the rock".
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this entry was last changed Jan 25, 2009