Petra Continues to Reveal Its Secrets with a Newly Discovered Structure

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The rose-red ruins of the ancient city of Petra, in Jordan, have long amazed tourists and archaeologists alike. Excavations in the 20th century revealed many of the city’s impressive ruins. Now a study published in the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research describes how a new monument was recently discovered by using a combination of newer technology—high-resolution satellite imagery and aerial drone photography—as well as ground surveys.

The new monument, located about 0.5 mile (800 meters) from the city’s center, includes a platform measuring 184 by 161 feet (56 by 49 meters), which surrounds a smaller platform, the east side of which was once lined with a row of columns by a massive staircase. An east-facing building, measuring about 28 by 28 feet (8.5 by 8.5 meters), was centered on the west side of the smaller platform. The authors of the study noted that there were no known similar structures in Petra and speculated that the monument had been used for public ceremonies.

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