Machareus is yearly visited by many tourists and its exploitation and conservation has been taking place in the last twenty years by the Firenze University researchers in cooperation with the Studiorum Biblicum Franciscanum of Jerusalem. The geology of the Machaerus area is referable to carbonate deposits of a shelf sedimentary environment cyclically subject to emergence, and lateritisation and reworking during marine ingressions. Early silicification occurred due to loess from the siliceous basement exposed to the Arabian desert. This cyclic deposition led to alternating beds of calcareous breccias, reddish calcarenites and siliceous limestones. These alternating strata constitute the Siliceous Limestones of Machaerus, which overlie the marls of a ramp environment. Late Cretaceous-Early Miocene compressive tectonics related to the first northwest-ward movements of Arabia led to a disharmonic folding in the competent Siliceous Limestones of Machaerus and to pressure solution bands in the Marls. In order to ensure safe tourism of the site, stability analysis of slopes and of the large cisterns present in the site was developed on the basis of a detailed geomechanical survey. The use of the natural local stone resources was analysed in detail in order to have a cultural knowledge of this topic and to contribute in developing a right conservation policy.

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