Terraces strike again

Not so long ago I blogged about recent research dating late antique terraces in the Iberian peninsula. Now I learn that another terrace system has been scientifically dated – this time, it’s researchers from the University of Cincinati applying optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating to the terraces of Petra, and finding that the system may have been constructed around the 1st century AD – read all about it here. This, it seems, makes them younger than originally thought – and the success of the new land-management system may have been an incentive for the Roman Empire’s subsequent annexation of the Nabatean Kingdom in AD 106. So, incidentally, this is perhaps another corrective to the (often popular) view that Roman ingenuity was always the engine for economic development in the classical world…