01.10.2012 - UNESCO Office in Amman

Siq Stability Sustainable Monitoring Techniques for Assessing Instability of Slopes in the Siq of Petra Jordan

©UNESCO AMMANPetra Siq Stability project team and External Advisory Board visiting the Petra Siq

UNESCO Amman launches a project for the stabilization of the Petra Siq

On July 17 the project “Siq Stability - Sustainable Monitoring Techniques for Assessing Instability of Slopes in the Siq of Petra, Jordan” was launched with an inception workshop at the Moevenpick Hotel in Petra. The project is funded by the Italian Government with USD 1 million and will be implemented during the next 26 months in cooperation with the Petra Development and Tourism Regional Authority (PDTRA), the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), Zamani Research Group (University of Cape Town) and Petra National Trust.

Petra is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, and Jordan’s most significant heritage site and was inscribed in the World Heritage list in 1985. However, Petra faces a wide diversity of risks, particularly from natural and geological hazards such as earthquakes, floods and landslides. The 1.2 km long Siq which serves as the only tourist entrance to the site, is especially fragile and needs to be addressed and monitored, in order to mitigate the risk of landslide and rock fall.

The aim of the project is to address the peculiar geological structure of the Siq of Petra and make it safer for visitors, while preserving the overall integrity and cultural landscape of Petra archaeological area. The project will address these issues by documenting, monitoring and identifying unstable areas and slope sectors in the Siq, and through long-term monitoring of the slope of selected areas. In addition, a GIS common platform for storing, analysis and management of data will be designed, as well as a 3D computerized model of the Siq, and an extensive and interactive virtual tour based on panorama photographs.

The inception workshop was opened by Anna Paolini, Head of the UNESCO Office in Amman, and the director of the Petra Archaeological Park who outlined the specificity of Petra’s fragile archaeological and geological heritage. After a presentation on the geological setting of the Petra area the main implementing partners of the project gave presentations of their planned activities. The presentations were followed by a discussion with the External Scientific Advisory Board of the project and a field trip to the Siq of Petra during which the experts explained how they will address the challenges posed by the fragile environment of the Siq.

For further information please contact Giorgia Cesaro, g.cesaro(at)unesco.org

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