Pauline Piraud-Fournet: Temple of the Winged Lions Publication Fellow, Spring-Summer 2019

Pauline Piraud-Fournet is an archaeologist and architect, and the recent recipient of a new 6 month Fellowship from ACOR in 2019: the Temple of the Winged Lions (TWL) Publication Fellowship. As part of this Fellowship, which is funded from the ACOR Publication Fund, Pauline is working on the assessment of the Temple of the Winged Lions (TWL) excavation archive at ACOR in Amman.

TWL Archive. AEP Plan, Section and Field Notes. Photo montage by P. Piraud-Fournet 2019

With the support of ACOR staff, Pauline is working on providing a better understanding of the nature and extent of the excavation archive housed at ACOR. Through a bibliographical review, she is drawing upon key research questions associated with the TWL, in order to help prepare a grant application for a multi-year collaborative research and publication project.

The exceptional documentation gained by the American Expedition to Petra (AEP) excavation directed by Philip C. Hammond (1974-2005), followed by ACOR’s TWLCRM Initiative (2009 to present) provides scholars with new-found elements regarding Nabataean religious architecture and worship practices. This will allow scholars to address common issues that surround the study of Nabataean sanctuaries, such as restoring the environment of this 1st to 4th century sanctuary and understanding its location within the city of Petra, dating the phases of its construction and changes over time, proposing hypotheses regarding how different rooms were roofed, and attempting to fully document its decorative scheme. Through the analysis of archaeological artifacts, there are also key questions raised related to ritual and worship, including the identification of the deity or deities to whom this sanctuary was dedicated. The excavation of this complex also allows scholars to address some uncommon issues regarding the site’s four workshops, where excavators uncovered materials used to create wall paintings, metal elements, marble slabs, as well as perfumed oils.

A 1975 image from Philip C. Hammond’s excavations at the Temple of the Winged Lions, which is part of the American Expedition to Petra archive housed at ACOR.

Since the 1990s, Pauline has been taking part in research and fieldwork on the Nabataean sanctuary of Dharih, Jordan, and other sanctuaries such as Sia and Sahr al-Leja in Southern Syria. It was with this experience, that she enthusiastically threw herself into the exploration of the archaeological archive of the Temple of the Winged Lions.

Learn more about the TWLCRM Initiative, and consider supporting ACOR’s ongoing, vital conservation work at the Temple of Winged Lions


Pauline Piraud-Fournet at ACOR, spring 2019. Photo by Jack Green.

Pauline Piraud-Fournet received her PhD in Archaeology from the University of Sorbonne (Paris, France) in 2016. Her PhD dissertation was on dwellings in the ancient capital of the province of Arabia, Bostra (Southern Syria), and the development of the city in Late Antiquity. Previously, she earned a B.A. and a M.A. in History of Art and Archaeology and in 2005, a Diploma in Architecture. From 2006 to 2012, she held the position of architect-archaeologist at Ifpo (the French Institute of the Near East, placed under the aegis of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CNRS, the National Center for Scientific Research), in Damascus and then in Amman. Pauline has worked for many years on various archaeological sites in the region. In Jordan, she takes part in research and archaeological surveys at Dharih, Petra, Jerash and Umm es-Surab (Hawran). Since completing her PhD, Pauline is carrying out a new research programme entitled Holyhost. Welfare and Hosting buildings in the “Holy Land” (Jordan and Palestine – 4th-7th centuries AD).

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