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Dr. Sarah Parcak Discovers New Monument at Petra, Jordan

  • Friday, 07 October 2016 10:37
UAB archaeologist Sarah Parcak, Ph.D., and Christopher Tuttle, executive director of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, announced the discovery of a massive, previously unknown structure in Petra, a 2,500-year-old city in southern Jordan.
In a paper recently published by the American Schools of Oriental Research, UAB archaeologist Sarah Parcak, Ph.D., and Christopher Tuttle, executive director of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, announced the discovery of a massive, previously unknown structure in Petra, a 2,500-year-old city in southern Jordan that was the capital of the ancient Nabataean kingdom.

Photo of Petra.Parcak is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is also a National Geographic Fellow and winner of the 2016 TED Prize.

The city of Petra is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, located in Jordan’s southwestern desert. Petra is half-built, half-carved into rock, and is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. In 1985 it was designated as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage site and named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.

The structure—a platform that is roughly the length of an Olympic-size swimming pool and twice as wide—is located about half a mile south of the center of the ancient city. Given its size, shape and prominent location, Parcak believes the site was a public structure and possibly had some sort of ceremonial function.