New, Massive Monument Found in Petra

Satellites and drones helped reveal huge ceremonial platform near the ancient city’s centre

تم نشره في Sat 11 June / Jun 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Petra New Discovery1 - (National Geographic)
  • Petra New Discovery 2 - (National Geographic)

Archaeologists Sarah Parcak, the National Geographic, and Christopher Tuttle, executive director of the Council of American Overseas Research Centres, uncovered the presence of an enormous monument, according to the study published in the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research; still unexcavated at the World Heritage site of Petra, only about 800 meters south of the centre of the ancient city.

The newly revealed structure consists of a platform spanned at about 105 square meters, enclosing a slightly smaller platform originally paved with flagstones. The east side of the interior platform seems to be lined with a row of columns, once crowned by a monumental staircase.

The report says Parcak and Tuttle used high-resolution satellite imagery followed by aerial drone photography and ground surveys to locate and document the structure, which was found to be as long as an Olympic-size swimming pool, twice as wide, and topped with a relatively smaller building, approached by a monumental façade.

The monument is said to have no known parallels to any other structure in Petra, and most likely had a public, ceremonial function, which makes it possible the largest elevated display area yet to be uncovered in Petra, second to the Monastery.

While the monument has not been excavated yet, surface pottery dating from the mid-second century B.C. suggests that the construction began early on during the Nabataeans’ initial public building phase, before the Byzantines conquered Petra.

From Kristin Romey’s article at the National Geographic website, published June 8, 2016; “ “Massive New Monument Found in Petra”