A kitchen garden in your room!
A kitchen garden inside your room? Yes, that's what the new
concept of 'vertical landless farming' promises where you can grow
tomatoes, chillies and small plants inside rooms - and without any
New York-based Britta Riley, a woman artist and technologist has
have unearthed innovative terrace farming techniques in the
ancient desert city of Petra, now in Jordan, which was made famous
by Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones" and "The Last Crusade".
The successful terrace farming of wheat, grapes and possibly
olives, resulted in the development of a vast, green, agricultural
"suburb" of Petra in an otherwise inhospitable and arid landscape,
say archaeologists associated with the discovery.
This development led to an explosive growth of agricultural
activity, increasing the city's strategic importance as a military
prize for the Roman Empire, according to a team of archaeologists
led by Susan Alcock of Brown University Petra Archaeological
Christian Cloke, doctoral student of classics at University of
Cincinnati, and Cecelia Feldman, classics lecturer at University
of Masschussetts-Amherst (part of BUPAP), used a variety of tools
and techniques, including high-resolution satellite imagery and
optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) for dating of soils.
On the large stretches of land north of Petra, inhabitants built
complex and extensive systems to dam wadis (river beds) and
redirect winter rainwater to hillside terraces used for farming,
according to a BUPAP statement.
Rainfall in the region occurs only between October and March,
often in brief, torrential downpours, so it was important for
Petra's inhabitants to capture and store all available water for
later use during the dry season. Over the centuries, the
Nabataeans of Petra became experts at doing so.
Cloke and Feldman have suggested that extensive terrace farming
and dam construction in the region north of the city began around
the first century, some 2,000 years ago, not during the Iron Age
(1200-300 BC) as had been previously hypothesized.
This terrace farming remained extensive and robust through the
third century. Cloke and Feldman presented their findings at the
Archaeological Institute of America Annual Meeting in Seattle, US.