This new archaeological field project began its first season on May 19, 2012. A team of 10 professional archaeologists, 20 students, and 20 Jordanian workers began excavation in three main areas. One team is investigating rock-cut shaft tombs of the 1st century A.D. Another is digging apparent domestic structures built against the northern city wall of Petra. The third is also investigating another apparent domestic complex near the tombs. We hope that the tombs will yield evidence about the still mysterious Nabataeans, the Arabs who built the magnificent city of Petra, recently voted one of the “Seven Wonders of the Modern World”. Both domestic complexes apparently post-date the tombs and may produce evidence about the history of the city after the Roman takeover of A.D. 106. Finally, the excavation of the city wall may settle the question of the date of Petra’s city wall.
—S. Thomas Parker