Abdoun Community Archaeology Project

Would you like to experience archaeology firsthand?

If you are in Amman (or elsewhere in Jordan) and would like to join us for an archaeological experience, please fill out the application to sign up and join us for a unique opportunity to experience archaeology firsthand!

Calendar for the 2024 season at Abdoun

We are pleased to announce the following dates for the community excavations at Qasr Abdoun (also known as Abdoun South). Excavations will take place from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., with a break in the middle. Please make sure you fill out the form and have confirmed your attendance. The following days are available but are contingent on at least four volunteers coming to the site.

You can sign up using the embedded form below, or go directly to https://digabdoun.eventbrite.com.

June 28September 6
June 29September 7
July 12September 13
July 13September 14
August 23
August 24
Jehad Haron, co-director of the excavations, explaining the process of archaeology to students and volunteers from King’s Academy in Madaba.

In 2021, the American Center of Research and the Jordanian Department of Antiquities partnered to create a new community archaeology program: the Abdoun Community Archaeology Project. As described elsewhere,[1] the project serves as a place to deepen the involvement of members of the public with the rich history and heritage of the area. In other words, it is an opportunity for people to get their hands dirty! Under the close supervision of trained professionals, volunteers are welcomed to help understand and excavate the site. With a focus on ensuring that those who live around such sites have an appreciation for historical structures and the past, the goal of the project is simply to see more people informed and involved.

Students and volunteers from King’s Academy in Madaba getting their first taste of archaeology.
    Top-plan orthophoto (a type of photographic map) of the Abdoun site, 2021, by Ehab Al Jariri.

The site of Abdoun South (to give its local name) is located in the heart of one of the busiest parts of Amman, especially notable for the presence of diplomatic missions and expatriates from all over the world. The site is east of the Japanese Garden, a public park opened in 2010. As best we understand the site today, it consists of multiple buildings constructed of large limestone blocks, but no wholistic documentation exists and the site has not been previously investigated other than survey work. In 2021, the site was recorded as it stands today. Still, Abdoun South needs excavation and further documentation in order for us to identify its function and periods of occupation. Evidence suggests the earliest use of the site was in the Iron Age, with later expansion and growth in Iron Age II. Recent work has revealed later structures, although further work needs to be done to clarify the periods. Pottery certainly suggests occupation during the classical periods.

In December 2021 we conducted the first season at the site. The work focused mainly on site cleaning and removal of recent rubbish. In addition, survey and documentation activities commenced, installing a survey grid and documenting all the exposed features using photogrammetry and GIS. The first excavations began in May 2022 and have since continued in May, June, and July 2023, with a third season planned for August, September, and October 2023.

[1] Ala’a Al Badarin, Hanadi Al Taher, Jehad Haron, Nizar Al Adarbeh, and Pearce Paul Creasman, 2021, Archaeology in Amman, ACOR Newsletter 33.1, p. 3.

Updated June 5, 2024

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