Dreamlike color images of Petra and southern Jordan in the early 20th century

Built sometime around the 4th century BC, the city of Petra in southern Jordan was the capital of the Nabataean society.

The Nabataeans carved elaborate and beautiful structures directly out of the raw sandstone cliffs, and devised ingenious cisterns and water conduits to make the city both a fortress and an oasis along the caravan trade routes of the region.

These images of Petra and its environs were created using the Autochrome process, one of the earliest color photography technologies. Requiring long exposures, the process used dyed potato starch grains to capture color in a dreamy, pointillist mosaic.

28 PHOTOS
Stunning autochromes from early Petra, Jordan
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Stunning autochromes from early Petra, Jordan
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
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