The first weeks have been busy with work, new surroundings, culture, and of course exploring the interesting survey area that extends approximately 277 km² around Tell Ya’moun, which is a tell site (ruins of a hilltop settlement) located in the Irbid province. The project’s interest focuses on finding new information about the area’s Iron Age settlements (1200 century BCE to 500 century BCE) by surveying possible new archaeological sites and checking known site locations. The survey area and our team’s accommodation is located in the north, near Irbid, the second largest city of the country. Mountains, fields and narrow, winding roads dominate the region’s landscape. Compared to the southern parts of Jordan, the north is greener and characterized with small trees and bushes, orchards and grass vegetation.
ANEE’s team collaborates with Yarmouk University in carrying out the fieldwork. Some of our team members have previously worked in southern Jordan, but the northern part is still a bit unfamiliar to most of us. The staff and students of Yarmouk University are helping us for example with identifying the material culture of the region, especially the pottery. Community outreach with the local communities is also an important part of the research project.
A typical working day consists of surveying the sites during the mornings when it is still cooler, and washing and analysing the pottery at the house in the afternoons. Surprisingly, the weather has been cooler and more varied than the team anticipated. Temperature has been around 15-20 degrees during the days, and evenings and nights have been so cold that we even had to use the fireplace. Hard wind has lifted sand dust and we have had some rain as well.
The team has also enjoyed and explored the life in Jordan, local food culture, beautiful scenery and visited museum in Irbid. More adventures to come!