Putting Pieces Together in Petra

The March/April issue of Archaeology included a feature on the Petra Pool and Garden Complex, which was selected as one of eight ancient sites around the world that exemplify humanity’s accomplishments in harvesting and managing water. Dr. Leigh-Ann Bedal, associate professor of anthropology, has been leading excavation of the site in Jordan since 1998. (Search “Masters of the Desert—Archaeology Magazine” to read the story online.)

Bedal and a team of eleven, including Dr. Gregory Bondar, lecturer in history, were in Jordan this summer to continue work on the project. They were joined by four Behrend undergraduate students— Sean Dailey, Michael Deutsch, Olivia Prevost, and Brandon Way—as well as Kenneth Kuchtyak from University Park, and a graduate student, Tina Al-Soof, from Queen’s University.

“This was a study season, so we were not excavating,” Bedal said. “We had two main objectives. First, to process and document pottery shards from select trenches and prepare them for publication, which gave the students the opportunity to learn about and participate in pottery drawing and documentation of measurements and wares.

“Second, we completed a survey of archaeological features that were uncovered in previous field seasons,” she said. “Greg used a global navigation satellite system to map in architectural elements such as walls, columns, and water features for the plan and 3D model of the site.”

Student Sean Dailey received a Behrend summer research grant for his work at the site, producing 3D scans of artifacts and experimenting with scanning pottery shards as a method of documentation. Each of the Behrend students received some form of financial assistance to participate in the experience.