Remains of 2000-year-old fountains, a pool, and irrigation channels used for maintaining gardens in ancient Petra, south-western Jordan, were discovered by archaeologists.
Excavations within the ruins of the 2000-year-old Nabatean capital revealed elements of an advanced irrigation and water storage system that maintained a magnificent garden featuring fountains, ponds and a 44-meter wide swimming pool in the city. It testifies to the existence of artificially irrigated gardens in the city.
The archaeologists uncovered underground channels that helped control excess water during the rainy season. The underground system consisted of channels, ceramic pipelines, underground cisterns and water tanks, which also filtered the water, allowed the people of Petra to cultivate crops, harvest fruit, produce wine and olive oil.
Consumption of the amount of water needed to sustain the garden served as propaganda to show off the wealth and power of the capital’s rulers. Water to the pool was brought by an aqueduct from the ‘Ein Brak spring, located in the hills outside the city. Petra stood at the crossroads of two important trade routes – one linking the Red Sea with Damascus, the other linking the Persian Gulf with Gaza, on the shores of the Mediterranean. Without developing techniques to channel, purify, pressurize and store water Petra could not become the important caravan stop in the middle of the desert.