Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 23, 2010


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:

  • Conservation of the 8th-Century Public Baths in the Umayyad City of Anjar, Lebanon
  • Conservation of 16th-Century Statues and Other Ethnographic Objects at Wat Visoun in Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Conservation of Armazi Archaeological Site, Georgia
  • Conservation of Prehistoric Rock Art in Kondoa, Tanzania
  • Documentation and Training in the Management of Archaeological Collections at Cyrene, Libya
  • Preservation of the Early 19th-Century Citadelle Laferrière (Henri Christophe) and Military Barracks of the Palais de Sans-Souci, Haiti
  • Restoration of 17th- and 18th-Century Paintings from the Compañia de Jesus Church in Arequipa, Peru
  • Restoration of the Early 19th-Century Fort at Lamu, Kenya
  • Restoration of an Historic Conventual Bakery in the Todos Santos Section of Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Restoration of the Minaret in the Ancient City of Tichitt, Mauritania
  • Restoration of the Rocas Canal at the Ancient Site of Chavin de Huantar, Peru

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

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PRN: 2010/1004