Bethlehem University students conduct archaeological, cultural heritage program excursion to Jordan


From: :

Twelve students from Bethlehem University, including ten second-year students from the ‘archaeology and cultural heritage’ program and two students from the English department, participated in an educational archaeological trip to Jordan from April 29 to May 5, 2024.

Funded by the Ecoles d’Orient – the French Consulate, this trip gave students valuable archaeological and historical insights into Jordan’s archaeological sites. It also offered them an understanding of the academic and governmental institutions involved in antiquities and cultural heritage.

The students were accompanied by the head of the department of Humanities Dr. Omar Abed Rabbo and Ahmed Asaad, resident lecturer in the Department of Humanities Archeology and Cultural Heritage Program.

On the trip, students visited numerous historical and archaeological sites across Jordan. They explored the ancient city center of Amman, including its famous citadel, and visited Madaba, where they saw the historic mosaic map in the Church of St. George. They examined the Byzantine remains of Jordan’s oldest known monastery, explored Tell al-ʿUmairy from the Middle Bronze Age (MBII), and marveled at Petra, one of the ancient wonders.

The journey also included visits to the Umayyad Desert Castles (Umayyad Palaces), such as, ‘Amra, al- Mushata, al-Harana, Ayyubid Castle in ʿAd̲j̲lūn and Jerash, the best-preserved Roman city in Bilād al-Shām.

The students visited the excavations of the French Institute of the Near East (Ifpo) in Jerash and received a detailed explanation from Dr. Julie Bonnéric, the director of the excavations and head of (Ifpo) Amman branch (Jordan).

The students visited Beit Yaish Cultural Center at Jabal Al-Luweibdeh, Amman and attended lecture presented by  François Villeneuve on the excavations of: Al-Dharih from the Neolithic to the Fatimid period: A Sanctuary on the King’s Highway.  

The program featured visits to museums and excursions along ancient roads, providing students with a comprehensive understanding of Jordan’s history and antiquities. The itinerary included the Heritage and Archaeology Museums at the University of Jordan, the National library of Jordan, the Jordan Museum, the Jordanian Archaeological Museum, the Mount Nebo Museum, and the recently established Petra Museum.

These visits highlighted the extensive cultural connections between settlements on both sides of the Jordan River. In addition, traveling along the Desert Road offered stunning views of Jordan’s expansive valleys and canyon systems. It shows the close relationship between the landscape and various settlements, including camps, villages, and cities.