Why Umm el-Jimal Should Be Included in Tourism Packages and Itineraries


“Why Umm el-Jimal Should Be Included
in Tourism Packages and Itineraries”

House XVII & XVIII at Umm el-Jimal, photo courtesy of USAID SCHEP

Dr. Bert de Vries, Calvin University

(Note new date)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Reception to Follow at ACOR

About the lecture:

Umm el-Jimal is a truly one-of-a-kind site in Jordan, distinct from other popular sites such as Petra, Jerash, and Umm Qais. One of the longest continually inhabited sites in Jordan, Umm el-Jimal’s history is of great interest to both Jordanians and foreign visitors.

Recent work on the site has made it even more accessible to visitors as it is now equipped with a tourism trail, brochures, interpretive center, as well as rest rooms, snacks, and a new visitors center. This hospitality infrastructure is largely managed by the local community, providing a distinct experience for visitors.

Just a little over an hour northwest of Amman, Umm el-Jimal is perfect on its own as a day trip or included in wider tours that explore Hauran culture, the Desert Castles, or other surrounding sites such as  Umm es-Surab, Umm el-Quttein, Deir Kahaf, Qasr Burqu and Jawa.

About the lecturer:

Professor de Vries retired from teaching in the History Department of Calvin College in May 2013. He continues to administer the Archaeology minor program at Calvin College and also teaches archaeology, and directs the fieldwork and publication of the Umm el-Jimal Project during his retirement.

Bert de Vries is a passionate peace activist who seeks and teaches alternatives to war in the Middle East. In April 2009 he helped organize Healing Children of Conflict of West Michigan which is dedicated to the medical treatment of children injured by the wars in Iraq and Gaza.

Bert de Vries’ history writing is informed by his specialization as an archaeological architect. He works on sites in the Near East and counts studies of rural towns, churches, forts, baths, and agricultural landscapes among his favorite sites. Current research focuses primarily on Umm el-Jimal, a Roman-to-Islamic era town in north Jordan.

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