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Research - Education: Archaeological fieldwork opportunity
Detail from Call for Participation in a 4-week archaeological research project in Jordan.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

Hisban North Church Project (Jordan)

21 June to 16 July 2018

The Hisban North Church Project is pleased to invite applications for summer archaeological fieldwork in Jordan, 21 June to 16 July 2018.

The Hisban North Church is a 5th/6th century Late Antique/Byzantine basilica in central Jordan that was previously (partially) excavated in 1978 and is now being re-investigated in order to clarify its multi-phase chronology for final publication. The original excavator suggested a foundation ca. AD 550, but preliminary re-examination of the site’s pottery and excavation records indicate that the church may have been initially constructed a century earlier, and possibly atop the remains of a previous Roman temple. The structure was in use as a church until at least AD 700 (after the Islamic conquest), had an early medieval phase (ca. 900-1100) of uncertain function, and was re-used as a cemetery (with ca. 80 burials excavated previously) from around 1300-1450, possibly representing a continuing Christian community. Historical sources indicate that the town of Hisban (then called Esbus/Esbounta) was a bishopric from at least AD 325 (when the Bishop Gennadius attended the Council of Nicaea) to 649 (when Pope Martin I corresponded with the Bishop Theodore) or later, and was also the home (or place of origin) of Staurachios, a master mosaicist who is credited with the elaborate mosaics from the eighth-century basilica of Saint Stephen at the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site Umm er-Rasas.

The Hisban North Church Project in association with the Hisban Cultural Heritage Project and Archaeological Field School in Jordan are seeking enthusiastic project participants to join an excavation team directed by Dr Darrell J. Rohl (Canterbury Christ Church University) and working alongside a larger international and interdisciplinary team (led by Prof. Øystein LaBianca of Andrews University and Prof. Bethany Walker of the University of Bonn) that will be excavating the adjacent Tall Hisban, one of the most important multi-millennial archaeological sites in Jordan. Previous archaeological studies and/or fieldwork experience is recommended, but not required. All training will be provided in excavation, site recording, and on-site processing of ceramics, small finds, and environmental samples.

This summer the projects will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original excavations at Tall Hisban as well as the 40th anniversary of the original North Church excavations, with major on-site celebration events featuring local, national, and international dignitaries. Weekend excursions to major archaeological (e.g. Petra, Jerash, al-Karak castle) and natural (e.g. the Dead Sea, Wadi Musa) heritage sites are included. The cost of participation (including all in-country costs, but excluding travel to Jordan) for all 4 weeks is $2,500 USD.

Initial project information and an application form are available at https://drive.google.com/open?id=18tuaWs3svX3Xmnnb1GQkFgQeEqXkcm3S.

Please note that places are limited and that the application deadline is 15 February 2018. For further information, please contact Dr Darrell J. Rohl at [email protected].