Downhill from the Theatre the west-facing cliffs of Jebel al-Madhbah house a collection of impressive tombs — among the most impressive burial places in Petra — known collectively as the Royal Tombs.
The Urn Tomb, the largest of the collection, gets its name from the large urn perched atop its pediment. Carved from the rock in AD 70, this tomb was later used as a church by Byzantine Christians in the fifth century. The Silk Tomb, located next to the Urn Tomb, is easy to pick out from the others from the naturally colored striations that flow across its facade.
Other notable tombs include the Palace Tomb with its Roman and Hellenistic facade (one of the few in Petra not entirely carved from the cliffs), the badly eroded Corinthian Tomb and the Tomb of Sextius Florentinus, the only tombs in Petra with an inscription recording its owner and one of the few that can be dated accurately.
Reach the Royal Tombs by ascending a set of steps located on the valley floor close to the Theatre.