August 13, 2014
Madain Salih, Saudi Arabia
Photograph by John Stanmeyer, National Geographic
A pre-Islamic people, Nabataeans carved palatial tombs at Madain Salih. In 2008, UNESCO named Madain Salih a World Heritage site, making it the first destination in Saudi Arabia to receive the title.
Writer Paul Salopek, one of the first travelers in a century to walk through the surrounding Hejaz desert, encountered a fabled past of caravans and pilgrims, of empires come and gone.
See the National Geographic story, photos, and video >>
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