Petra, Jordan, is the site of a surprising discovery by archaeologists using satellite and drone imagery to survey beneath the sands. A gigantic monument was discovered at the Petra UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the southern part of Jordan, an area that has been extensively excavated by archaeological researchers throughout the last two centuries.
Archaeologists Sarah Parcak, a National Geographic fellow, and Christopher Tuttle, the executive director of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers authored a study about the newly discovered Petra monument that was published in the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research and was first reported by National Geographic.
The aerial perspective allowed the archaeologists to find the surface traces that led them to identify the outlines of the monument beneath Petra's sands. The two researchers used high-resolution satellite imagery to focus on the site and then followed up with targeted drone photography and surveys on the ground to confirm their suspicions. The monument was found about a half a mile from the center of the ancient city of Petra.