Status: Ongoing

Funding: Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, (USD 150,000)

The Nabateans employed elaborate flood control systems in Petra. These involved terraces, cisterns, check dams and perhaps full-scale dams. These measures not only mitigated much of the flood damage in the ancient city, but led to water harvesting and agricultural development in the hinterlands.

One of the major sources of flooding to Petra is Wadi Madras to the southeast of the ancient Siq and Treasury. As a result of a previous study, the Petra Archaeological Park requested that the CSNACH team explore the possibility of putting the results to practical use in this wadi. Hence this project.

The project involves the study of the archaeology, environment, hydrology and engineering interventions in the study area. Ultimately, the terrace system that protected Petra from flash flooding will be partially restored and its function will be modelled and observed. In addition, local involvement and gender-balanced training of the local community will allow for transfer of know-how, which will ensure expansion of terrace practices and thus long term sustainability. Increasing awareness and reviving this technology would not only mitigate flooding and protecting soils, but will also expand agriculture, creating additional economic opportunities for the area. To follow the activities related to this project, you are invited to follow our Facebook page which was set up for this purpose.