Elephant Capital

Petra Museum, Jordan

The capital is from the triple colonnade on the lower terrace of Petra's Great Temple. Elephant heads are substituted for the volutes, between which the capital is worked in a band of "egg-and-dart" design. The capital is thus a modification of the Ionic order (adaptations of all three classical orders are seen in Petra.) Nothing could show more delightfully the Nabataean genius for putting their own, unique "spin" on an adopted architectural vocabulary of classical forms.

The Third Edition (2001) of the Blue Guide refers to two museums in Petra. The items illustrated here were all on view, as of 2005, in the newer museum that is located next to the Forum Basin Restaurant.