Sarah Parcak of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Christopher Tuttle, executive director of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, spotted a monumental structure at Petra, a
2,500-year-old Nabatean city in southern Jordan, using high-resolution satellite imagery and pictures taken with aerial drones.
National Geographic reports that the structure consists of a building measuring roughly 28 feet square, centered on a rectangular, paved platform, surrounded by a larger, 184-by-161-foot, platform. The building faced a row of columns and a staircase to the east. Pottery recovered from the site dates to the mid-second century B.C. Parcak and Tuttle say that the platform’s design is unique in the ancient city, and may have been used for ceremonial purposes in the early days of the settlement. “I’ve worked in Petra for 20 years, and I knew that something was there, but it’s certainly legitimate to call this a discovery,” Tuttle said. For more, go to “Neolithic Community Centers – Wadi Faynan, Jordan.”