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Reviving ancient technology to save a monument

See stunning videos and photos from a one-of-a-kind archaeology project in Petra, Jordan

In Petra, Jordan, a team of archeologists is recovering some surprisingly sophisticated systems built to harness Mother Nature. That old world technology, they say, might just save the ancient monument built 2,000 years ago by the Nabatean civilization.

Cynthia Finlayson and her students are wrapping up their third year of work at the Ad-Deir Monument, nicknamed “The Monastery.” The towering sandstone cliffs look very much like Zion National Park in southern Utah. And like Zion, the desert area is prone to flash floods that damage the ancient structures carved into the cliffs.

“Our ideal is to both restore the water erosion control systems the Nabatean civilization had in place and save the monument as much as we can,” said Cynthia Finlayson, a BYU professor and director of the Ad-Deir Monument and Plateau Project.

Enjoy this visually-stunning look at Finlayson and her students in action. 


Restoring Petra by BYU on Exposure

 

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