Ancient Petra Treasury
Archeologists at the American Schools of Oriental Research have used satellite imagery and drone photography to discover a new structure at Petra, Jordan. In picture: Ancient Petra TreasuryTwitter/Egypt Tours Plus

Archeologists from the American Schools of Oriental Research have found an archaeological site at Petra, in Jordan that had apparently remained hidden for over 2,000 years. The archeologists reportedly used drone photography and satellite imagery to discover the site.

The researchers used Google Earth and images shot by WorldView satellites 1 and 2, and describe Petra in their study as being a city that still holds many undiscovered archaeological sites. The newly discovered structure appears to be a large square-shaped platform, with another significantly smaller square-shaped structure on top of it. There are also what appear to be remnants of a flight of stairs leading up to the platform.

The BBC quotes the researches as saying the find is unlike any others in the nearby area.

The BBC report also said shards of pottery found at the site date back to mid-second century BCE and that the structure may have been used to conduct ceremonies. The structure built on top of the platform is reported to have been lined with columns on one side and a vast staircase on the other.

Christopher Tuttle, executive director of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, describes the find as "hiding in plain sight."

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"I'm sure that over the course of two centuries of research [in Petra], someone had to know [this site] was there, but it's never been systematically studied or written up," Tuttle told the National Geographic. "I've worked in Petra for 20 years, and I knew that something was there, but it's certainly legitimate to call this a discovery."

The Nat Geo report added that the platform measured 56x49 square metres, enclosing a slightly smaller one built on top of it. An even smaller 8.5x8.5 square metre structure sits on top of it.