Massive Hidden Petra Monument Found In Plain Sight

Posted: Jun 10 2016, 3:35am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 10 2016, 5:39am CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Massive Petra Monument Found Hiding in Plain Sight
An aerial photo of the monument taken from a drone, and a detail overlay of the surface features in which the image is rotated 90 degrees clockwise. Both Photos by I. Labianca and Graphics by J. Blanzy (R) Credit: Bulletin of The American Schools of Oriental Research via National Geographic
  • Large New Structure discovered in Petra.

A large new structure has been discovered hiding in plain sight at the World Heritage site of Petra. It had remained hidden from view up until now.

A large building of sorts has been found at Petra in Southern Jordan. The place is a Wrold Heritage site. This was reported in a study published in the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research recently.

High resolution satellite imagery was employed to delineate the outline of the structure. Also aerial drone photography and routine ground checks were carried out to find out more regarding the structure. This monument is about the length of an Olympic swimming pool and it is twice the width of this structure.   

The location of this site is roughly half a mile south of the center of Petra. Petra used to be a place which caravans passed through in ancient times. Located in Southern Jordan, Petra used to be the home of the Arab tribe known as the Nabateans.

That was way back in 2nd century BC. During the 7th century AD, it was left in ruins. Many tourists visit Petra annually to view its crimson sandstone buildings.

These buildings had been carved from the local materials that were available to the Nabateans. The Petra Archaeological Park is spread out over an area that is 102 square miles. The city center though is only 2.3 square miles in its locus of influence. 

Novel discoveries continue to be made in Petra. The explorer Johann Burckhardt visited the place in 1812. This current structure consists of a large platform that is the context of a replica of itself that is furnished with flagstones.

The eastern side had a row of columns that were once a part of a staircase. Another tiny building was situated on the top and it faced the eastern side too.

This structure has no comparison to any other monument in Petra. It probably served as a public forum for ceremonies and rituals, according to National Geographic. This makes it the second largest structure in Petra reserved for this purpose after the local monastery. 

It has not been fully exhumed just yet. The time in which it was built was probably when the Nabateans thrived in Petra. Most of the buildings in Petra are from its second flowering.

Some of the latest technology has been used by the experts to get a better picture of this building in Petra. While knowledge regarding the site may have been passed on by word of mouth, today it has become a part of the heritage of Petra and no stone will be left unturned to preserve it for tourism and historical display purposes in the future.  

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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