Discover the intriguing story of the Nabataean Dam in Al Sadd (The Dam). Learn how it was rebuilt to protect the city from devastating floods and witness their expertise in water engineering.

Al Sadd (The Dam) in Petra

The Nabataean Dam, which replaced the previous Nabataean Dam, was recently constructed. In 1964 AD, the government rebuilt it in the same style as the original, in order to safeguard the capital from the floods that occur during the rainy seasons. These floods originate from the slopes of the mountains and neighboring hills, flowing through the valleys and eventually accumulating in Wadi Musa until they reach the entrance of the Siq.

By diverting the water into a tunnel known as the Dark Tunnel, located on the opposite side, the dam effectively prevents the water from entering the city. This tunnel, carved by the Nabataeans, is a remarkable example of their expertise in water engineering. Throughout the city, one can witness the presence of this significant Nabataean achievement, which allows them to control and utilize water in their arid environment.

During the cleaning of the tunnel, an inscription was discovered that revealed the old Nabataean name of the city, Raqim. The name Petra, on the other hand, is of Greek origin and translates to “rock”. This tunnel serves as a connection to the other side of the city, and its walls are adorned with various religious sculptures depicting Nabataean deities.

Learn about the engineering mastery behind the reconstruction of Al Sadd’s Nabataean Dam, protecting the city from floods. Get to know Petra now by booking a 10 day tour trip to Jordan.

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