A new study of the Qantara-Hremeyyeh catchment area located near Petra has revealed how the ancient Nabateans built a system of dams and terraces as part of their water management strategy. Soil samples and mortar were analyzed to learn about their surface management and intervention practices. Water from this catchment area flows from the mountains to the Treasury of Petra, which inundated the area with flooding in antiquity. To combat this, from the first century BC to the first century AD the Nabateans widened the wadies to slow the water and reduce erosion, as well as built dams to prevent flooding of the Treasury of Petra. The dams also helped collect water which was used for agricultural activities. Terraces were also built to improve soil quality, making it suitable for cultivation. The Nabatean king Aretas IV is mentioned in 2 Corinthians 11:32-33.
Ancient Nabateans Built Dams and Terrace Systems to Manage Water
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