June 18, 2008

Reconstructing Petra

Pack a little, Blog a little...

Finally got to read this old article from Smithsonian.com (it's been on my list for months). The finds are awesome, but my favorite part was reading about the amazing scholar Martha Sharp Joukowsky.

Nothing is impossible...

Earlier archaeologists considered the Great Temple an unsalvageable pile of stones, but Joukowsky proved otherwise by attacking the project with a vigor... When she began her work, Petra was little more than an exotic tourist destination... Archaeologists had largely ignored the site... Since then, Joukowsky's team... have laid bare what once was the political, religious and social heart of the metropolis, putting to rest forever the idea that this was merely a city of tombs.

And yet there's so much left to do.

...while the work by Joukowsky's team has revealed much about ancient Petra, it will be up to a new generation of researchers like [Christopher A. Tuttle, a Brown graduate student working with Joukowsky] to tackle the many rubble piles—and mysteries—that still dot the city's landscape. "We really know next to nothing about the Nabateans," says Tuttle as he surveys the forbidding landscape. "I hope to spend most of my professional life here."

I hope he gets to.
"If the Lord tarries." ;)

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"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient observation than to any other reason."

-- Isaac Newton