Djinn Blocks - God Blocks, Petra
The modern path from the site entrance leads down a very gradual slope to Bab as-Siq, the entrance to the famous 'Siq' itself.
But even though the path you walk upon is modern, it is still Petra. Petra really was massive, its 'suburbs' spreading into the settlement now called Wadi Musa and beyond. The route you are taking is the main route which led into the heart of the historical city, through the naturally-formed canyon of the Siq which formed the city's perfect defence
The city needed water to survive and the ancient Nabateans were truly brilliant water engineers. The main entrance route runs alongside the Wadi Musa, one vital source of water and as you walk along it you will pass three massive stone 'god-blocks' (also called 'djinn-blocks').
It is thought these represented the gods and goddesses who guarded the city's water supply.
But they may not have done. They may have had another purpose entirely, or have had several functions at the same or different times. No-one actually knows for certain.
One of the 'god-blocks' you'll pass on the way to the Bab as-Siq has had shaft graves cut into it and all three are opposite caves marked with obelisks (the Nabateans used that shape to stand for the soul).
There are 25 'god-blocks' dotted about within the Petra site.The local name of 'djinn-blocks' came about because it was thought only a djinn (spirit/genie) could possibly have carved such huge blocks.
Make sure you notice those first three god-blocks. They are almost certainly your first sight of what superbly skilled craftsmen the ancient Nabateans were.
while traversing the Bab al Siq, which is the 600 meter flat walk before the entrance to the Siq, you will see assorted geometric blocks scattered around the area and these are calle the Djinn Blocks, which are actually dedicated to the Pre Islamic Arabian Gods and also are the locations of tombs for Nabateans nearby. The Djinn Blocks are actually tombs and are believed to be the earliest tombs in Petra. About 26 different Djinn Blocks were found throughout the park. The block shape may represent the ancient Nabataean god Dushara and other Nabatean Deities.
On the road into Petra, you can see some of the earliest examples of their work. The Djinn Blocks are representations of the Nabataeans gods (Djinn meaning spirit). The first two are on your right about midway along the road, near a small set of cave dwellings, and there's another just after the bridge before the Siq.
Other than the Obelisk Tomb, outside the Siq entrance are three huge blocks (approx 8metres high), believed to be plinths upon which the Gods could stand and watch over the water supply. The middle of the three, with its carvings, was also believed to a funerary monument.
This if the first monument you will see. They are 3 cubic towers, and archaeologist and experts in history don't come up with a common agreement on what they were made for. Would they be tombs? Or water tanks?
These are the first sign that you are approaching something special. They are huge blocks of stone, lightly carved, on the right hand side as you go down the road to Petra. They are also called "god blocks"
Their exact purpose is unknown, they seem to be associated with water, there are a number of them scattered around the outskirts of Petra, usually close to a water course.
The word Djinn in Arabic mean "spirit" because the tradition want that these blocks were use to accomodate the spirits.
Nobody know nowday which is the use of these blocks but they are very fascinating and they are the first meeting that visitors have got in their exploration of the Pink Town.
Just few metres after the entrance to Petra there are these big Nabatean blocks. They are call Djinn but archeologists don't understand which is their meaning!! Maybe they are tombs or religious buildings to honour the Nabatean God Dushara.