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New Survey Will Identify Nabataean Sites in Saudi Arabia

Friday, October 4, 2019

Saudi Arabia HegraRIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA—An international team of more than 60 researchers led by archaeologist Rebecca Foote has begun a two-year project to survey some 11,500 Nabataean sites in an area covering more than 1,000 square miles in northwestern Saudi Arabia, according to a BBC News report. Nabataean culture is usually associated with the capital city of Petra in Jordan, but the site of the ancient Nabataean city of Hegra, which was founded in the first century A.D., is located in this region of Saudi Arabia. “Exactly how our findings will impact on understanding of ancient history, we don’t yet know,” Foote said. “But it is likely to reshape the world view of earlier periods.” Jamie Quartermaine of Oxford Archaeology said that the thousands of high-resolution photographs taken during aerial surveys of the region and assembled with specialty software will allow the team members to map funerary architecture, standing stones, and rock art sites. The team members will also examine how the Nabataeans managed water and agriculture. In the project’s final stage, researchers will venture into the field on foot. For more on the Nabataeans, go to "Mystery Buildings at Petra."

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