Jebel Qurma Project - Jordan

Jebel Qurma Project - Jordan Share the discoveries of the Leiden team in their annual excavations and surveys of the Jebel Qurma
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Just south of Damascus begins the stony black basalt wasteland or Black Desert, stretching across Northeastern Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the fringes of the sands of the great Nafud desert. New research east of Jordan’s capital of Amman shows that the arid and desolate, basalt-strewn lands are astonishingly rich in archaeological monuments of all kinds and periods, in the form of circular stone dw

ellings, round enclosures with low stone walls, burial cairns, chambered tower tombs, hunting installations, rock drawings, Safaitic and Arabic inscriptions on stone, and so on.

08/04/2024

New fieldwork in the making! We plan to work in Jebel Qurma in May and June. There we go again….!

About weaponry and rock art at Jebel Qurma!
08/02/2024

About weaponry and rock art at Jebel Qurma!

AMMAN — The Safaitic inscriptions within the Black Desert depict scenes from the daily life of the pre-historic inhabitants, in this arid and inhospitable environment. The Black Desert, like Hishma Desert in the south, contains thousands of inscriptions and petroglyphs spanning from immemorial tim...

About the beauty of the desert in east Jordan
15/01/2024

About the beauty of the desert in east Jordan

About the Azraq basin (and beyond):
07/12/2023

About the Azraq basin (and beyond):

AMMAN — With human presence known for at least 400,000 years ago, the Azraq basin and adjacent areas of northeast Jordan preserve one of the most continuous and well-known sequences of early prehistoric settlement in the Levant.

Yorke Rowan about the prehistory of the Black Desert in Jordan! See:
13/10/2023

Yorke Rowan about the prehistory of the Black Desert in Jordan!

See:

The forbidding landscape known as the Black Desert may be arid and inhospitable today, but recent research shows that at one time it supported both humans and large mammals.

The endless plains of north-eastern  Jordan, seen from the Jebel Qurma range. In front, we see an extensive group of sto...
16/08/2023

The endless plains of north-eastern Jordan, seen from the Jebel Qurma range. In front, we see an extensive group of stone-walled enclosures for camping, dating to the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods.

The astounding beauty of Jebel Qurma
17/07/2023

The astounding beauty of Jebel Qurma

Some beautiful pieces of recently found rock art from Jebel Qurma, made over 2000 years ago.
01/07/2023

Some beautiful pieces of recently found rock art from Jebel Qurma, made over 2000 years ago.

The time has come for us to leave the field. We spent some 9 weeks in the desert, busy with the investigation of tombs l...
30/06/2023

The time has come for us to leave the field. We spent some 9 weeks in the desert, busy with the investigation of tombs long forgotten. These were 9 great, exciting weeks. Work was not always easy, due to the relentless heat, the regular sand storms and the occasional thunder storm. However, our work was never dull but always exciting and entirely worth our efforts. After all, Jordan’s eastern desert is a great and most rewarding place for archaeological research!

From left to right: Wesam Esaid, Keshia Akkermans, Bobby Leahy, Isabelle Fontijne, Vera van Heel and Peter Akkermans.

Our final project in the field: the excavation of a small tower tomb and its attached cist grave. The latter grave dates...
30/06/2023

Our final project in the field: the excavation of a small tower tomb and its attached cist grave. The latter grave dates to the beginning of the common era, but the tower tomb is much older and dates at about 600 BCE. Both were heavily looted in antiquity, but they still gave us lots of insights. The tower tomb may originally have been up to 2 m high. The looting done some 2000 years ago resulted in the collapse of the tower. We had to remove enormous amounts of fallen stones, as well as tons of later, wind -blown, sand between the stones.

27/06/2023

The Black Desert offers visitors millions of years of natural and human history – but this may all change with plans to build a new capital city on the desert's edge.

Our current research area, in the eastern half of the Jebel Qurma range. Amazingly beautiful!
13/06/2023

Our current research area, in the eastern half of the Jebel Qurma range. Amazingly beautiful!

We are busy with a beautiful tower tomb of the 1st millennium BCE, located on a hill top. It is a very large tomb, up to...
13/06/2023

We are busy with a beautiful tower tomb of the 1st millennium BCE, located on a hill top. It is a very large tomb, up to 6 m in diameter, with its height preserved to about 1.25 m. Inside is a huge burial chamber with a corbeled roof. The outer wall of the tomb has partially collapsed to its very foundation, probably due an earthquake.

28/05/2023

Today, on our way to Azraq….

Today and yesterday: first came the sand, then the heavy rain
28/05/2023

Today and yesterday: first came the sand, then the heavy rain

The long walk through the basalt in the early morning (photos: Isabelle Fontijne)
27/05/2023

The long walk through the basalt in the early morning (photos: Isabelle Fontijne)

We’re investigating thousands-of-years-old burial cairns somewhere in the middle of nowhere
27/05/2023

We’re investigating thousands-of-years-old burial cairns somewhere in the middle of nowhere

While, indeed, we try to travel light, each day we must lug back and forth our tools through the basalt
26/05/2023

While, indeed, we try to travel light, each day we must lug back and forth our tools through the basalt

I feel I am being watched….
23/05/2023

I feel I am being watched….

Our small but experienced team investigates the many burial cairns in Jebel Qurma from thousands of years ago. Unfortuna...
19/05/2023

Our small but experienced team investigates the many burial cairns in Jebel Qurma from thousands of years ago. Unfortunately, most of the tombs have been looted in a search for treasures, often quite recently. However, we’re still able to retrieve great insights into ancient burial practices, through careful work and attention for details. It comes with a price though: we have to remove tons of sand and stones…

The Jebel Qurma area is quite deserted these days, with no bedouin tents or the like. We see just this lone herdsman and...
19/05/2023

The Jebel Qurma area is quite deserted these days, with no bedouin tents or the like. We see just this lone herdsman and his camels passing by.

We’re in the field for some time now, living la vida loca amidst the rocks and the sand!
19/05/2023

We’re in the field for some time now, living la vida loca amidst the rocks and the sand!

Al Azraq and its fortress: our base town for the weekly food supplies, car fuel, etc.
19/05/2023

Al Azraq and its fortress: our base town for the weekly food supplies, car fuel, etc.

A dromedary from the 16th century Maerten de Vos, c. 1572-1600Drawing 30 by 38 cmRijksmuseum Amsterdam
20/04/2023

A dromedary from the 16th century

Maerten de Vos, c. 1572-1600
Drawing 30 by 38 cm
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

New fieldwork in the making! We plan to work in Jebel Qurma in May and June. Let the games begin….
03/02/2023

New fieldwork in the making! We plan to work in Jebel Qurma in May and June. Let the games begin….

Wonderful new book about Jordan’s pottery!
12/12/2022

Wonderful new book about Jordan’s pottery!

Funded by USAID’s Sustainable Cultural Heritage Through Engagement of Local Communities Project (SCHEP), implemented by the American Center of Research (ACOR), and in cooperation with the Madaba Regional Archaeological Museum Project (MRAMP), the American Center has now published the English version of “The Pottery of Jordan: A Manual.”

The SCHEP Project promotes the preservation, explication, sharing, and recording of the rich history of Jordan. In support of these goals, this manual was published to provide the reader with comprehensive information about the industry of pottery in Jordan and its history. The manual will serve as the main reference on pottery in the country, and will be a valuable resource for researchers, archaeological museums, students, and archaeologists, as well as all those who study Jordan's pottery assemblages.

You can view the manual here: https://publications.acorjordan.org/books/pottery-of-jordan-manual/

USAID Jordan

Adres

Leiden University, Faculty Of Archaeology
Leiden
2333CCLEIDEN,THE

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