Technology and its advantages. Three new Roman camps found by Google Earth were confirmed. They are in northern Arabia. The research is from the School of Archaeology at Oxford University.
Their article is published in the journal Antiquity. The discovery is evidence of a hitherto undocumented military campaign. The camps were identified by satellite imagery. It relates to the Roman takeover of the Nabataean Kingdom in 106 AD. It is a civilization centered on the world-famous city of Petra, located in Jordan.
Dr. Michael Fradley identified the camps on Google Earth. He suggests in a statement that there is little doubt about the date of the camps. “They were built by the Roman army. It is the typical shape of the enclosures with opposite entrances on either side.”
Dr. Mike Bishop is an expert on the Roman military. “These camps are a spectacular new find. And an important new insight into the Roman campaigns in Arabia.”
The camps would have been built by the army as temporary defense stations. The level of preservation of the camps is truly remarkable. It is possible that they were only used for a few days or weeks.
The newly discovered camps run in a straight line to Dûmat al-Jandal in what is now Saudi Arabia. It was then a settlement in the east of the Nabataean kingdom. It suggests that Rome had to force its takeover. History says it was a peaceful event at the end of the reign of the last Nabataean king.
Archaeologists still need to confirm the date of the camps through field research. They ask, “Why does the western camp have twice the capacity of the other two? Was the force divided and, if so, where did the other half go? Was it half annihilated in a battle?”
The camps were identified by the Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East Project. Supported by the Aerial Archaeology Project in Jordan (APAAME). Could there be more Roman camps found by Google Earth? Of course there could be. And history will continue to be rewritten.