The Aphrodite-al‘Uzza Conservation Collaborative—2 May 2023

Posted 26 April 2023

Tuesday, 2 May 2023, 9:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m. (UTC +3)
In person and online (with live Arabic translation)
American Center of Research, Seminar Room
Amman, Jordan

Photo of the two Aphrodite statues found at the Petra North Ridge, in archaeological context. (Photo by Sophie Tews.)

Archaeological excavations by the Petra North Ridge Project unexpectedly discovered two marble statues of Aphrodite at the ancient Nabataean capital prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Found amidst 4th-century AD domestic debris, both sculptures preserve fragile remains of ancient painting (or polychromy) and are among the most important statues of imported marble discovered at Petra in recent decades. Their fragmentary condition and corroding interior iron pins (from multiple ancient repairs) have required a detailed multidisciplinary conservation treatment. This hybrid workshop includes presentations on the discovery of the statues and their ancient historical and cultural contexts and describes their recent conservation in preparation for their public exhibition in the Petra Museum. In-person and online attendees can interact (with live Arabic translation) in this collaborative space to discuss these important additions to the rich archaeological heritage of Jordan. 

To register, visit:

The two Aphrodite statues found at the Petra North Ridge, reconstructed. (Photo by Michael Morris.)

Workshop Program

9:30–10:00       Tea and coffee reception

10:00               Start of live webstream and Arabic translation services

10.00–10:15     Welcome by Prof. Fadi Bala‘awi, Director General, Department of Antiquities

10:15–10:30     “The Excavation and Ancient Contexts of the Petra North Ridge Aphrodites”—Megan Perry, Co-Director, Petra North Ridge Project, East Carolina University

10:30–10:45    “The Two Aphrodites as Polychrome Marble Sculptures”—Mark Abbe, University of Georgia

10:45–11:00    Discussion and questions

11:00–11:15    “Ancient Repairs and the Modern Conservation of the Aphrodites”— Michael Morris, Sculpture and Archaeological Conservator

11:15–11:30    “What Is Next for the Statues?”—Fatma Marii, Conservator

11:30–11:45    Comments by Ibrahim Farajat, Director, the Petra Museum

11:45–12:00    Discussion and questions

12:00               End of live webstream and translation services

12:00–12:30     Tea and coffee. Viewing of Aphrodite sculpture in the Conservation Laboratory, ACOR, for in-person attendees

2:00–3:00         Lunch for registered guests 

Invaluable funding and assistance provided by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung, the American Center of Research (ACOR), and the Department of Antiquities of Jordan.

Infrared and natural light photographs of the pigments used on the two Aphrodite statues found at the Petra North Ridge. (Photos by Mark Abbe.)
Scroll to Top