Alabama researchers used satellite imagery and drone pictures to discover a new Petra monument hidden in the sands near the Aaron’s Mountain.
The ancient city in Jordan has so much more to reveal. Even if it’s filled with architectural relics, scientists are still interested in what else they could find out on the disappeared world. Some deal with the present, others deal with the past.
Petra was in the archaeologists’ focus for more than 200 years.
The New Petra Monument
Researchers used satellite images of Petra to have a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. The research team is based in Maine, and it is led by Sarah Parcak, a researcher at the University of Alabama.
The satellite image showed an outline coming up from the sand. Even if at first scientists thought it was only a natural rock element, they later used a drone to take photos of the site and discovered that the outline was, in fact, man-made.
The rock was the foundation of a vast structure buried in the sand. The construction included two platforms, out of which the upper one was paved with layered stones. On the east side, archaeologists discovered columns that sustained descending stairs.
On the top of the platform, researchers found another small construction facing east, in the opposite direction of the city.
The new site still lies buried in the sands. Scientists do not know yet what the purpose of the buildings was. For more information on the monument, they will have to wait for the excavations to begin.
The City of Petra
The city was established in 321 BC and became the capital of Nabateans, an Arab people that controlled an oasis trading network. They were later conquered by Romans, and their culture was eventually lost.
Their trading routes and the origins of their goods were kept secret, but some say they may have been disguised in tales.
Ancient historians described them as a tribe of 10,000 warriors, an elite of the Arab world with pastoral pursuits and trading skills. They were perfectly protected by the aridity of their country and their water system was carefully concealed from invaders.
The city is enclosed by towering rocks and has a perennial water source. The Nabateans transformed the rocky environment into an artificial oasis.
Petra had been introduced in the western world only in 1812. Since then, it was declared one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Researchers use new technology such as satellite imagery and drones in order to unveil the secrets of ancient sites. Even if some of the archaeological sites seem to have been completely voided of any more secrets, it appears that the ancient world life surpasses scientists’ imagination and still can offer uncountable wonders.
Image Source: Wikipedia