01.10.2014 change 01.10.2014

New Polish archaeological project in Jordan

Scientists from the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University are searching for traces of human presence from the Stone Age to the Roman period near Tafilah in southern Jordan.

"We have just started the first season of work, which will continue until the beginning of October - explained Dr. Piotr Kolodziejczyk, who leads the project together with Dr. Wojciech Machowski. - This year\'s surface surveys, during which we search for fragments of pottery and ancient tools on the surface, are carried out in very difficult, mountainous conditions" - he added.

Some parts of the area selected jointly by the Poles and the Jordanian Department of Antiquities are almost inaccessible or will require climbing, and even the use of drones in the process of documentation.

Important archaeological sites are located near the study area. According to Dr. Kołodziejczyk, they include the capital of the Edomites – Bozrah (now Busaira) or refugium rock Sela, often interpreted as an important cult place and the arena of a great battle between the Israelites and Edomites. Also in the area is the famous Wadi Feynan - copper mine valley, which played a key role in the processing of this material and its exports to the Pharaohs state emerging in the Early Bronze Age.

Archaeologists from Kraków will be particularly interested in finds from the Bronze Age, which may help to answer many questions related to human presence in the area of Edom during this period, the land extending in modern-day Israel and Jordan.

The ultimate and long-term research topic of the archaeologists will be to determine the course of commuting routes in southern Jordan. Researchers will look at the role of environmental conditions in the development and transformation of human activity in the area. These studies are part of a series of thematically and methodologically integrated field and analysis projects devoted to the role of landscape in archaeology. The project under the name "Project LAS - Landscape Archaeology Surveys" will help to understand the process of cultural change in the context of nature and landscape. "In the coming years, the participants will include not only archaeologists, but also other researchers specialising in issues related to landscape and its changes" - announced Dr. Kołodziejczyk.

This year, the researchers from Kraków will document all discovered archaeological sites and objects in the north-eastern portion of the area covered by the concession. They will also prepare an action plan for the next seasons. The result will be a spatial database available for further processing in GIS (Geographic Information System).

The activities of the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University in Jordan is the first Polish independent research project in the area. Its implementation is possible with the support provided to the Kraków team by Italian archaeologists from the University of Florence, who have been working for years in the area of southern Jordan, under the supervision of Prof. Guido Vannini. Polish archaeologists will benefit from the hospitality of the Italian expedition base in Wadi Musa.

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