Petra’s forgotten gardens uncovered after 2,000 years
A team of archaeologists have uncovered evidence of a 'hanging gardens' in the city of Petra, which was carved right out of solid rock by a civilisation called the Nabataeans. The find reveals an advanced irrigation and water storage system that has astounded experts.
|The monumental 2,000-year-old pool in Petra [Credit: Leigh-Ann Bedal]|
Experts suspect the gardens would have been adorned by vines, palms, extensive grassland, providing ample opportunity for residents to cultivate crops, harvest fruit, and produce olive oil and wine.
When you think about where Petra is located – in the middle of the desert in Jordan, receiving only 10-15 centimetres of rain a year – the thought of lush vegetation is remarkable.
|Excavation of a water shaft in Petra [Credit: Leigh-Ann Bedal]|
Located in modern day Jordan, Petra was built in the 1st century BC and was inhabited by about 20,000 people at its peak.
Excavations found a shaft that led water more than 10 metres downward as well as underground channels that helped control water levels during rainy seasons, revealing the true complexity of the system for the first time.
|Excavating and documenting the irrigation channels on the garden terrace in Petra [Credit: Leigh-Ann Bedal]|
The pool was a monster, bigger than an olympic pool today. Just imagine, coming from days or weeks of walking in the desert and seeing a huge swimming pool in front of you – we can only imagine the kind of impact such a sight made.
Author: Allison Wallace | Source: Yahoo New Zealand [September 30, 2016]