29.06.2013 - UNESCO Office in Amman

Making the Siq of PETRA safer for all!

© UNESCO AMMA\Daniele SpizzichinoPrism installation in the Siq, sector no. 3.

From 26 May to 6 June 2013, the Siq Stability project moved into an interesting new phase with the installation of an integrated system of monitoring devices on select slopes and cracks of the Siq of Petra.

The implementation of long-term monitoring techniques has per objective the identification of the slopes most at risk in the Siq, and consolidation of selected areas important to maintaining visitor safety in such a unique environment.

The two week mission proved gruelling yet exciting for project partners and visitors alike, as trained Jordanian climbers from Tropical Desert Trips climbed the various slopes of the Siq to install extensometers and clinometers on major Siq cracks, in addition to micro prisms for monitoring the Siq walls, under the guidance of engineers and geologists from the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research – Geological Survey of Italy, the Petra National Trust, Leica Geosystems Italy and Minteos Srl.

The equipment installed will be operating over a specified period and the data used to monitor any slope or crack movements in order to develop strategies for landslide mitigation.

During the mission, a visit to the site was undertaken by the project’s donor H.E Patrizio Fondi, Ambassador of Italy to Jordan. In addition, training was provided to staff from the Department of Antiquities (DoA) and the Petra Archaeological Park (PAP), who will be responsible for the sustainability of the project. The opportunity was also provided on various occasions to engage those working within the Park as well as visitors.

Prior to this very important mission, the UNESCO Amman Office had embarked on a series of public information meetings with PAP staff, park concessionaires and representatives of the various communities, as well as provided information flyers for use by tour operators, hotels, and other project partners.

The project Siq Stability - Sustainable Monitoring Techniques for Assessing Instability of Slopes in the Siq of Petra was launched in July 2012 and is being managed and implemented by the UNESCO Office in Amman in coordination with the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research – Geological Survey of Italy, the University of Cape Town (Zamani Research Group), Petra National Trust, Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority and the Department of Antiquities of Jordan.

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