Tagung „International workshop on the Northern Jordan Plateau during the late Bronze- and Iron Ages based on studies of ceramics“

30. October – 01. November 2008
co-organized by PD Dr. Roland Lamprichs and Prof. Dr. Ziad al-Saád


Katrin Bastert, Berlin (Germany)

Late Bronze- and Iron Age pottery from Tell Johfiyeh: a traditional look
The joint German-Jordanian archaeological project at Tell Johfiyeh in northern Jordan took place over four seasons of excavation/survey work between 2002 and 2007. It covered a number of different aims: excavation of Tell Johfiyeh, reconstruction of its stratigraphy, a surface survey of its surrounding area, an historical and functional interpretation, as well as a reconstruction of the social and political conditions of the site.

The paper is focusing on the results of a deep sounding which was conducted in the south-western part of square 3 in 2004. Its pottery will be presented and discussed. Altogether, 2631 pottery sherds have been registered here within 21 stratified locii. 225 pieces were classified as diagnostics and the remaining 2406 pieces have been counted as body sherds. A first analysis showed that the stratified pottery of the deep sounding covers a time range lasting from the Late Bronze Age up to the end of the Persian period (Iron Age III).

Reinhard Dittmann, Münster (Germany)

The importance of pottery in archaeology. What we know and what we want to know.
The aim of this warming up lecture is to give an insight into the methods and pitfalls of modern pottery studies to a broader public. Starting with the early methods of pottery analysis it will end in a postprocessual way of reviewing pottery in relation to well known objects of art of the ANE.

Abdel Nasser Hindawi, Freiburg (Germany)

The Iron Age of the Northern Jordanian Plateau - A History of Research
The present paper will present a detailed review of the archaeological activities conducted in the Northern Jordanian Plateau from the 19th century up to the present that have produced Iron Age material. Moreover, it attempts to highlight the major archaeological problems that prevent us of having a better understanding of this particular period in this region. Furthermore, a review on the importance of recent archaeological activities on the Iron Age from this region, namely from Tell Johfiyeh, Tell el-Fukhar and Tell Ya’amoun will also be given.

The presentation will be divided into two parts: the first is a review and evaluation of the archaeological surveys that produced Iron Age material, while the second is devoted to the examination and assessment of the archaeological excavations.

Abdel Nasser Hindawi, Freiburg (Germany)

Some typological aspects on the Iron Age cooking pots from Tell Ya’amoun
This presentation will tackle various forms of the Iron Age cooking pots excavated from Tell Ya’amoun. It will be focusing on two major aspects, namely: their typological characteristics and their regional context. A summary will be given to the archaeological site of Ya’amoun and its archaeological context. Special emphasis is placed on the 2002 season excavation, given that all the pottery assemblages used for this research have come from this season.

Daniel Hockmann, Münster (Germany)

Publish or Perish: Excavation and publication
As every archaeologist knows excavations are time-consuming and expensive. However, what is hardly recognized is that each excavation destroys the cultural heritage. The damage can only be compensated by means of accurate and extensive record-keeping. Thus, it is the obligation of every field-archaeologist to publish his or her findings as completely and fast as possible to avoid any loss of information. In theory an interim report should be issued at the end of each campaign. The time between two seasons of fieldwork should be used to process and analyze findings. At the end of the last archaeological operation a comprehensive and full-scale excavation-report should be published within a few years.

However, as studies show, practice differs from theory enormously. Ten, twenty years, in some cases more than half a century goes by until results have been made available. The reason is, for the most part, linked to the person of the field-archaeologist himself.

Publish or perish: The article examines how to decrease the risk of losing archaeological data from excavations and at the same time how to produce high quality final-reports in time. A focus on small-scale sites saves money and time. Furthermore, it helps to understand complex household-systems, which are even today largely unknown to archaeologists in ancient near eastern studies. Tells accumulated by a single household can be excavated completely within a few months or seasons of fieldwork and with a small number of workmen and archaeologists. Modern technologies such as digital photography and computer based data-processing save money and time, too. Finally, web-based exchange of information makes preliminary reports immediately accessible and open for discussions.

Zeidan Kafafi and Ruba Abu Dalu, Irbid and Amman (Jordan)

Tell Irbid During the Late Bronze/ Iron Ages: New Results
Tell Irbid is located at the center of the modern city Irbid, in north of Jordan. The Tell considered to be one of the largest artificial tells in both Jordan and Palestine. It measures about 500m by 400m and is 578m above the sea level. Unfortunately, during the last decades, the site has been altered on sides as the city of Irbid has been grown up.

Since the second half of the nineteenth century to the present, several individuals and archaeological expedition visited, surveyed and sounded several areas of the Tell. In addition, ancient tombs dated to the Bronze Ages, Iron Ages and some were reused during the Roman periods were found on the site. Apparently, the uncovered archaeological material at Tell Irbid indicated that it has been continuously occupied from the fourth to the
middle of the first millennia BC.

In 1995, the Department of Antiquities conducted an excavation in the courtyard of Dar es-Saraya building on top of Tell Irbid, under the supervision of Ruba Abu Dalu. This presentation aims at presenting a preliminary report about the Late Bronze and the Iron Age found archaeological material in parallel with those excavated by earlier excavations at the site of Tell Irbid. Examples of the excavated Late Bronze and Iron Ages architectures and pottery will be discussed.

Lamia al-Khouri, Irbid (Jordan)

Inter connectivity between Barsinia and the other sites of West-Irbid Survey
The region of North-West Jordan is endued with its rich cultural remains through the different ancient periods. Resulted by the survey of West Irbid, which has been carried out in September 2005, 41 archaeological sites have been uncovered. The surveyed area extends between Wadi el-‘Arab in the north and the old pipeline in the south, Wadi el-Ghafar in the east and the villages of Kufr 'An and Deir es-Se'neh in the west. In total the area is ca. 71 sq km.

In 2006, excavations took place at one of the most prominent sites within the survey called Barsinia. As the main objective of the survey was to show the distribution of archaeological sites during each period of occupation, excavating the site of Barsinia was helpful in explaining some points related to the development of settlement through the historical periods. The site could be taken as an example of a continuous occupation in the region and could clarify the connection between the site and the other surrounding sites in each occupational phase as well.

Roland Lamprichs, Münster (Germany)

Four Seasons of Excavations at Tell Johfiyeh: a Preliminary Report
Under the joint directorship of Roland Lamprichs and Ziad al-Sa´ad, four seasons of archaeological excavations have been conducted at the archaeological site of Tell Johfiyeh in northern Jordan between 2002 and 2007. The seasons looked into more than 900sqm within several trenches. New and conclusive information concerning the stratigraphy, pottery-sequence and architectural remains at the site have been obtained and will be presented in this paper.

The results of the work show that Tell Johfiyeh was mainly used during the Late Bronze and Iron Ages: a lime covered and sealed round structure of still unknown function during the Bronze- and a prosperous farmstead during the Iron Ages I-III. After a gap in occupation Tell Johfiyeh was resettled during the Umayyad period. The architectural remains of this period were concentrated on the fringes of the site and in a small area on top of the mound. Afterwards, the site was abandoned.

Tell Johfiyeh

Zeidoun al-Muheisen, Irbid (Jordan)

The Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology at Yarmouk University, Irbid: Current Projects and Activities

The Faculty’s main aims center on the analysis, preservation and promotion of Jordan’s cultural heritage.

The Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology was established in 1984 at Yarmouk University - then the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology - as a research and teaching center in the fields of archaeology, epigraphy and anthropology. It has expanded since then to cover other related fields such as cultural resources management, tourism, conservation of archaeological sites and materials, archaeometry and museum studies.

The constant expanding of the goals and programs of the Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology led Yarmouk University to transform the Institute to the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology as of the academic year 2003/2004.

The Faculty comprises five academic departments: Department of Archaeology, Department of Anthropology, Department of Epigraphy, Department of Conservation and Management of Cultural Resources and the Department of Tourism. In addition, the Faculty encompasses the Museum of Jordanian Heritage, a Laboratory Unit and the Deir Allah Research Station in the Jordan Valley. The Faculty houses two academic chairs; the Chair of Mahmoud Ghul for the ‘Studies of the Arabian Peninsula’ and the Chair of Samir Shamma for ‘Islamic Civilization and Numismatics’.

The Faculty provides undergraduate and graduate programs in the general field of cultural heritage. It awards bachelor degrees in the fields of Archaeology, Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Anthropology and Tourism. It also awards Master’s degree in Archaeology, Anthropology, Epigraphy, Tourism and Cultural Resources Management.
The Department of Archaeology was first established in 1984 providing MA degree in Archaeology in many subfields including Archaeology of the Prehistory, Classical Archaeology, Islamic Archaeology and Numismatics, and then expanded in Applied Science in Archaeology. Recently, the Department of Archaeology has provided BA degree in Archaeology.

The Department of Anthropology was first established in 1984 providing MA degree in Social Anthropology. The social anthropology section has been participating in various types of research activities in association with other universities and scientific institutes interested in the anthropological studies of Jordan and the Middle East. This has resulted in the accumulation of data about Jordan and its cultural heritage.

The Department of Epigraphy was established in 1985. It offers MA programs in Semitic and Classical epigraphy. Courses provided cover the fields of North West Semitic, Old South Arabic and Old North Arabic branches of the Semitic languages in addition to Greek and Latin epigraphy. The Department offers theoretical courses in these areas supported by field training at selected sites in Jordan.

The establishment of the Department of Tourism is a clear recognition by the university administration on the importance of Jordan's tourism industry and the role it plays in accelerating the economic and social sustainable development. The university senses the needs of the local and Arab markets for a qualified pool of staff, and qualifies the required staff through targeting programs relying more on the interaction and integration between the theoretical knowledge and specialized applied skills.

The Department of Conservation and Management of Cultural Resources was established during the year 1999/2000 at the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology to meet the growing needs of highly trained and skilful people in the fields of cultural resources management, conservation and museology. The Department adopts an interdisciplinary approach in teaching its programs, and therefore, it cooperates with other departments at the university such as Chemistry, Geology, Business Administration, Marketing, Economics, Anthropology, Archaeology, Museology, Epigraphy, and Modern Languages. The Department utilizes the modern information technologies such as the Geographic Information System (GIS) and database management systems in teaching and training its students.

The Museum of Jordanian Heritage is part of the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology at Yarmouk University. The Museum recounts the story of mankind in Jordan from its earliest stages until today. It was opened in 1988 in cooperation with the German Government. The Museum reflects the research and field projects conducted by the Faculty researchers, and technicians, whether independently or in cooperation with other local and foreign institutes.

The Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology is distinguished from its counterparts in Jordan and the region by offering unique academic programs that were mostly introduced into the Arab region for the first time. Reference is made in this connection primarily to the programs of Epigraphy, Physical Anthropology, Numismatic Studies, Tourism, Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Cultural Resources Management and Archaeometry, in addition to many training programs related to these fields.

Furthermore, the Faculty managed since its establishment to build an extensive network of international relationships with numerous academic institutions worldwide.
These aspects of distinction allow the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology to play a crucial role on the academic level locally regionally and internationally.

The Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology contributes significantly to the development of the local community. One main aspect of this is the promotion of public awareness in the local community of the importance of the cultural heritage. This goal is achieved mainly through exhibitions, public seminars and workshops organized by various departments at the Faculty.

The Faculty offers furthermore, a wide array of training courses and workshops on conservation of cultural heritage. These are designed to give the members of the local community the opportunity to take part in them and to improve their skills in the related issues.

Furthermore, several social issues of concern in the local community are being tackled by social anthropologists of the Faculty, who propose various solutions to them in collaboration with the bodies within the community.

The pioneering academic programs mentioned above attracted many students from the region to study at the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology. Students from countries, such as Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Sudan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia have been enrolled at the Faculty. The Faculty hosts furthermore, several regional meetings and workshops.

The Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology is an active partner in many international archaeological excavations. Staff members at the Department of Archaeology conducted field-work with colleagues from the Middle East, Europe and North America. The results of these works appear in the form of joint publications.

On the teaching level, the Faculty established partnerships with several European Universities through the Med-Campus program and its successor, the TEMPUS program, which is sponsored by the European Training Foundation (ETF) of the European Commission. These partnerships helped developing teaching programs at the Faculty. Through these programs students from various European universities are able to attend classes at the Faculty.

Further aspects of international cooperation are reflected by the distinguished relationships the Faculty maintains with various international institutions and programs, such as the World Bank, the Euro-Med program, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Research Foundation (DfG) and the German Agency of Technical Cooperation (GTZ). The cooperation with the latter included a project for stone preservation at Petra.

In addition, the Faculty is active in organizing international conferences in diverse academic fields. In 2002, the Faculty co-organized the 7th International Forum UNESCO, “University and Heritage Seminar," which was opened at Yarmouk University under the royal patronage, and was attended by 130 scholars from 35 countries.

Through its active involvement in a number of EURO-MED heritage program and EUMEDIS program, the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology has established partnership with a large number of East Mediterranean and European universities and agencies that work in the field of cultural heritage. The Faculty has bilateral cooperation with many international universities and jointly conducts research and training programs with these universities. The joint research programs and student and faculty exchange programs with the University of Arkansas (US) and Brandenburg University (Germany) are only examples of that cooperation. Locally, the department has strong ties with the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, the Royal Geographic Center, the Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs, University of Science and Technology/ Department of Architecture and Hashemite University.

Mustafa al-Naddaf, Irbid (Jordan)

Provenance and Firing Technology of Iron Age Pottery from Tell Johfiyeh, Northern Jordan
Forty-one pottery fragments, dating back to Iron Age II, were selected from the 2002 excavation at Tell Johfiyeh for the purpose of this study. All the selected samples were petrographically analyzed using polarizing microscope to identify the non-clay portion in the pottery. Nine of the samples were studied using X- Ray Diffraction (XRD). Calcite, quartz, basalt-forming-minerals, grog, chert and dolomite have been detected. The presence of primary calcite in the studied samples indicates that the initial firing temperature did not exceed 800 oC. the availability of all tempering materials at the site and the presence of Upper Cretaceous Foraminifera indicates that the raw materials used for pottery making were locally available. The relatively moderate firing temperature may indicate that the firing process took place in an open pit.

Ziad al-Saad, Amman (Jordan)

Scientific Analysis of Ancient Ceramics
Recent developments in archaeometric research and especially in the study of ancient ceramics have put emphasis on the integrated approach using a combination of analytical techniques. This approach has been proven of particular significance for the study of a broad array of issues, such as provenance, technology of manufacture, and technological choices.
There are various questions about ceramics that can be addressed with scientific analysis. It is a scientific analysis that permits archaeologists and physical scientists to determine “what minerals are present and what elements constitute those minerals and other trace components." An aim is, of course, provenance, but technological issues can, likewise, be considered. Firing temperature can be determined based on the mineral alterations that occurred under high temperatures. It is also possible to examine clays, tempers, and glazes separately with, for instance, an electron microprobe, providing information about how different types of pottery were fabricated.

Abdullah al-Shorman, Irbid (Jordan)

Stable Carbon and Oxygen Isotopes of the Animal Tooth Enamel from the Late Iron Age Farmstead of Tell Johfiyeh in North Jordan: a Palaeoclimate Study
The Iron Age III layers of Tell Johfiyeh revealed a considerable number of animal teeth that were used for reconstructing the paleoclimate at the site. The enamel of the sheep tooth was used to extract stable oxygen and carbon isotopes; two proxies for paleoclimate. The results show that the area passed through warmer climate conditions with dominant C4 plants; plants that are tolerant to such extreme conditions.

Participants and addresses

Bastert, Katrin
Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (DAI)
-Eurasien Abteilung-
Im Dol 3
14195 BERLIN / Germany
e-mail: kabastert@freenet.de

Dittmann, Reinhard
Institut für Altorientalische Philologie und Vorderasiatische Altertumskunde
University of Muenster
Rosenstr. 9
48143 MÜNSTER / Germany
e-mail: dittmre@uni-muenster.de

Hindawi al-, Nasser
Institut für Vorderasiatische Altertumskunde
-Orientalisches Seminar-
Universität Freiburg
FREIBURG i.Br. / Germany
e-mail: nasserh8@hotmail.com

Hockmann, Daniel
Institut für Altorientalische Philologie und Vorderasiatische Altertumskunde
University of Muenster
Rosenstr. 9
48143 MÜNSTER / Germany
e-mail: daniel_hockmann@yahoo.de

Kafafi, Zeidan
Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology
Yarmouk University
IRBID / Jordan
e-mail: zeidank@yahoo.com

Khouri -al, Lamia
Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology
Yarmouk University
IRBID / Jordan
e-mail: lam_khouri@yahoo.de

Lamprichs, Roland
Institut für Altorientalische Philologie und Vorderasiatische Altertumskunde
University of Muenster
Rosenstr. 9
48143 MÜNSTER / Germany
e-mail: rlampric@uni-muenster.de

Muheisin -al, Zeidoun
Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology
Yarmouk University
IRBID / Jordan
e-mail: muheisenz@yahoo.fr

Naddaf, Mustapha
Department of conservation and management of cultural heritage
Yarmouk University
IRBID / Jordan
e-mail: mnaddaf@hotmail.com

Sa´ad -al, Ziad
German-Jordanian University (GJU)
AMMAN / Jordan
e-mail: zalsaad@gmail.com

Shorman -al, Abdullah
Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology
Yarmouk University
e-mail: alshorman@yu.edu.jo