The restoration of the ancient Nabataean flash flood protection system in the Wadi al-Jarra area of Petra is one of 12 projects at World Heritage Sites to receive financial support from the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) in 2010.
Established by Congress in 2000, the AFCP awards grants are for the preservation of cultural sites, objects, collections, and forms of traditional expression. The AFCP has demonstrated America’s respect for cultural heritage around the world by supporting more than 640 projects in more than 100 countries.
Part of a multi-year effort to restore the ancient Nabataean hydrological system of retention and diversion dams and canals at Petra to active use, the current project involves the reconstruction of the lower dam of the Wadi al-Jarra. Built towards the end of the 1st Century BC, the lower dam and associated structures are vital for the protection of both visitors and monuments at Petra, notably the Khazne (Treasury) and its courtyard, from the potentially devastating impact of seasonal flash floods.
Other projects that AFCP is supporting at World Heritage Sites are:
The Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation is administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Cultural Heritage Center, which supports the foreign affairs functions of the U.S. Department of State that relate to the preservation of cultural heritage. The Center also administers U.S. responsibilities relating to the 1970 UNESCO Convention to reduce pillage and illicit trafficking in cultural property.
Media Contact: Catherine Stearns, 202-632-6437 or StearnsCL@state.gov