Links to websites about Petra and the Nabateans
Acknowledgements: The Petra Lower Market Survey, directed by the author (L. Bedal), was made possible with an ACOR Near and Middle East Research and Training Act Pre-doctoral Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Award, and the generous collaborative efforts of Martha Sharp Joukowsky, director of the Brown University excavations of the Great Temple at Petra. The survey and excavation project was carried out with the cooperation of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, in particular the Director-General Dr. Ghazi Bisheh and the on-site representative Muhammed Abdul-Azziz. A special thank you goes to Elizabeth Najjar, Paul Zimmerman, Yelena Rakic, James Roger, Dakhillalah Koblan and an exceptionally hard-working Bedoul team for their invaluable assistance in the field. I am deeply  indebted to Chrysanthos Kanellopoulos for his insightful and innovative contributions to the interpretation of the site, as well as several  inspiring reconstructions that can be viewed on these pages. In addition, I would like to thank the entire staff of the American Center for Oriental Research, especially Pierre and Patricia Bikai and Fatma Marii, for their help during my post-season residency in Amman, and to express my gratitude to Drs. Yvonne Gerber, Andrea Vanni Desideri, and Zbigniew Fiema for their consultation. The SiteMap surveying system was provided by the Museum's Applied Science Center for Archeology (MASCA) of the University of Pennsylvania, and operated by Paul Zimmerman of the University of Pennsylvania.
During a two-month field season in the summer of 1998, a survey and excavation was conducted in the so- called "Lower Market" in order to determine its function, organization, historical development, and its relationship to the other monuments in the city's civic center. Work began with the creation of an accurate map of the topography by the project's surveyor, Paul Zimmerman, using the SiteMap surveying system, the computerized mapping system utilized by the Great Temple project (figs. 5 and 7). Relevant surface features and architectural components revealed through subsequent excavations were surveyed in and added to the overall site plan.
A monumental wall, 2.5 m high, runs east-west along the juncture between the quarry and the earthen terrace, bisecting the site (the pale line across the middle of fig. 3). The quarried area to the south of the wall which is bounded to the south and east by vertical escarpments, and to the west by the Great Temple's perimeter wall is filled with a deep deposit of earth, forming a plateau 2.5 m above the level of the earthen terrace. At the center of the plateau, the ruins of a rectangular structure are clearly visible at the surface (see site plan).

The initial identification of the site as a marketplace along with the adjacent 'Middle Market' and  'Upper Market' was made by the German expedition of Bachman, Wiegand and Watzinger (1921), who completed the first extensive mapping of Petra's city center. Since no excavations were conducted at the time, however, these identifications were based primarily on their most prominent shared characteristic large, open, unbuilt areas and the expectation that a major entrepôt such as Petra would be have with a large centralized marketplace.
The creation of the 'Lower Market' was an extremely labor-intensive project. First, a large shelf (65 x 32) was quarried into the rocky slope south of Wadi Musa east of the Great Temple, leaving vertical escarpments, 16 m high, on the south and east (fig. 3, at bottom). The shelf was then extended northward by filling in the space between the quarry and a retaining wall, 53 m to the north, forming a large earthen terrace (65 x 53 m) (fig. 3, center). At the center of the earthen terrace is a 2 m stretch of wall--the only architectural feature visible on the large, flat earthen terrace -- protruding from underneath the northwest corner of a raised field that occupies the southeast quadrant of the earthen terrace. This field is known to have been cultivated by the
Bedoul
(the local bedouin tribe and long-time inhabitants of Petra) into the modern era.
Introduction

              Despite decades of excavation in and around Petra, archaeologists continue to grapple with the issues of chronological development and the organization of the city as a center of political and economic importance. Contributing to the incomplete nature of our understanding of Petra is the fact that significant pieces of the puzzle have managed to elude archaeological investigation. One of these is a large, open area located in the center of the city, south of and overlooking the colonnaded street, amidst the temples and other civic structures at the heart of Petra's city center (fig. 1). Its central location, monumental scale and labor-intensive construction cut deep into the side of a rocky slope (fig. 2) and perched on a large earthen platform six meters above the level of the shop-lined street suggest that this area was part of the ceremonial, economic and political center of the city (see map), and therefore must have had an important role in the organization and life of Petra.
Photorealistic rendering of the Pool-Complex
Table of Contents:


          Island-Pavilion
          Pool
          Hydraulics

          A Hellenistic Tradition

          Roman Civic Center


Photorealistic rendering of the Pool-Complex
Introduction

              Despite decades of excavation in and around Petra, archaeologists continue to grapple with the issues of chronological development and the organization of the city as a center of political and economic importance. Contributing to the incomplete nature of our understanding of Petra is the fact that significant pieces of the puzzle have managed to elude archaeological investigation. One of these is a large, open area located in the center of the city, south of and overlooking the colonnaded street, amidst the temples and other civic structures at the heart of Petra's city center (fig. 1). Its central location, monumental scale and labor-intensive construction cut deep into the side of a rocky slope (fig. 2) and perched on a large earthen platform six meters above the level of the shop-lined street suggest that this area was part of the ceremonial, economic and political center of the city (see map), and therefore must have had an important role in the organization and life of Petra.
Connect to the Internet if you can't see this image.
Connect to the Internet if you can't see this image.
">
">
">
">
fig. 1 - Aerial view of Petra's city center,
looking east. The 'Lower Market' is at
center with the Great Temple immediately to the west.
fig. 2 - Aerial view of  the 'Lower Market' and the
neighboring Great Temple in 1996, prior to excavations
in the 'Lower Market'.
Great Temple, leaving vertical escarpments, 16 m high, on the south and east (fig. 3, at bottom). The shelf was then extended northward by filling in the space between the quarry and a retaining wall, 53 m to the north, forming a large earthen terrace (65 x 53 m) (fig. 3, center). At the center of the earthen terrace is a 2 m stretch of wall--the only architectural feature visible on the large, flat earthen terrace -- protruding from underneath the northwest corner of a raised field that occupies the southeast quadrant of the earthen terrace. This field is known to have been cultivated by the
Bedoul
(the local bedouin tribe and long-time inhabitants of Petra) into the modern era.
Connect to the Internet if you can't see this image.
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
Connect to the Internet if you can't see this image.
">
">
">
">
A monumental wall, 2.5 m high, runs east-west along the juncture between the quarry and the earthen terrace, bisecting the site (the pale line across the middle of fig. 3). The quarried area to the south of the wall which is bounded to the south and east by vertical escarpments, and to the west by the Great Temple's perimeter wall is filled with a deep deposit of earth, forming a plateau 2.5 m above the level of the earthen terrace. At the center of the plateau, the ruins of a rectangular structure are clearly visible at the surface (see site plan).

The initial identification of the site as a marketplace along with the adjacent 'Middle Market' and  'Upper Market' was made by the German expedition of Bachman, Wiegand and Watzinger (1921), who completed the first extensive mapping of Petra's city center. Since no excavations were conducted at the time, however, these identifications were based primarily on their most prominent shared characteristic large, open, unbuilt areas and the expectation that a major entrepôt such as Petra would be have with a large centralized marketplace.
Connect to the Internet if you can't see this image.
The raison d'etre of Petra was its role as a caravan city located on the axis of a network of ancient trade routes (fig. 4), particularly those devoted to the trade in frankincense and myrrh, linking Arabia with the Mediterranean and much of the ancient world (cf. Miller 1969; Van Beek 1969; Groom 1981). Despite its international economic importance during the Hellenistic and Roman periods, little is known about the organization of Petra's trade and commerce. It was hoped that systematic study of a marketplace within Petra would provide valuable information about the city's economic activities.
fig. 4 - Trade routes of ancient Arabia.
fig. 3 - Aerial view of the  'Lower Market' with the Great Temple at left  (north is at top).
During a two-month field season in the summer of 1998, a survey and excavation was conducted in the so- called "Lower Market" in order to determine its function, organization, historical development, and its relationship to the other monuments in the city's civic center. Work began with the creation of an accurate map of the topography by the project's surveyor, Paul Zimmerman, using the SiteMap surveying system, the computerized mapping system utilized by the Great Temple project (figs. 5 and 7). Relevant surface features and architectural components revealed through subsequent excavations were surveyed in and added to the overall site plan.
Connect to the Internet if you can't see this image.
Connect to the Internet if you can't see this image.
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
fig. 5 - Paul Zimmerman surveys the site using
the SiteMap surveying system.
fig. 6 - Leigh-Ann Bedal fills in as "pole-boy".
Connect to the Internet if you can't see this image.
">
">
">
">
fig. 7 - Team Photo:
(top row, l-r) Dhyfala Sulieman, Mohammed Aude, Isma'el Mohammed, and Sulieman Mohammed;
(bottom,row l-r) Elizabeth Najjar (Field Assistant, Brown University), Mohammed Haroun, Abdullah Mohammed, Ahmed Ali, Salman Salim, and Leigh-Ann Bedal (Field Director, University of Pennsylvania).
Acknowledgements: The Petra Lower Market Survey, directed by the author (L. Bedal), was made possible with an ACOR Near and Middle East Research and Training Act Pre-doctoral Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Award, and the generous collaborative efforts of Martha Sharp Joukowsky, director of the Brown University excavations of the Great Temple at Petra. The survey and excavation project was carried out with the cooperation of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, in particular the Director-General Dr. Ghazi Bisheh and the on-site representative Muhammed Abdul-Azziz. A special thank you goes to Elizabeth Najjar, Paul Zimmerman, Yelena Rakic, James Roger, Dakhillalah Koblan and an exceptionally hard-working Bedoul team for their invaluable assistance in the field. I am deeply  indebted to Chrysanthos Kanellopoulos for his insightful and innovative contributions to the interpretation of the site, as well as several  inspiring reconstructions that can be viewed on these pages. In addition, I would like to thank the entire staff of the American Center for Oriental Research, especially Pierre and Patricia Bikai and Fatma Marii, for their help during my post-season residency in Amman, and to express my gratitude to Drs. Yvonne Gerber, Andrea Vanni Desideri, and Zbigniew Fiema for their consultation. The SiteMap surveying system was provided by the Museum's Applied Science Center for Archeology (MASCA) of the University of Pennsylvania, and operated by Paul Zimmerman of the University of Pennsylvania.
Links to websites about Petra and the Nabateans
I am eager to know who my visitors are and what they think of this website and the recent discoveries at Petra.
Please visit my Guestbook
Connect to the Internet if you can't see this image.
">
">
">
">
Unless otherwise indicated, all photos, illustrations and text on this site
by Leigh-Ann Bedal ©1999. All rights reserved
Last updated: February 2000
Connect to the Internet if you can't see this image.
">
">
">
">
The Pool-Complex at Petra
(Petra 'Lower Market' Survey, 1998)
Preliminary Report

by Leigh-Ann Bedal
Anthropology Department, University of Pennsylvania
top: -5342px; margin-left: 0px">