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Jerash Northwest Quarter Project

Project outline

Directors: Prof. Dr. Rubina Raja and Prof. Dr. Achim Lichtenberger

Head of field: PD Dr. Georg Kalaitzoglou

Head of registration: Dr. Heike Möller (2015-2017)

In the year 2011, the joint archaeological project between Aarhus University and Ruhr University Bochum (later Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster) under the direction of Prof. Dr. Rubina Raja and Prof. Dr. Achim Lichtenberger was begun. The project is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation, H.P. Hjerl Hansens Mindefondet for Dansk Palæstinaforskning and the German Research Foundation (DFG). The aim of the project is to examine the settlement history for the until now largely unexplored Nothwest Quarter in the ancient city of Gerasa, modern Jerash in Jordan.

Gerasa was a Hellenistic-Roman influenced city, which was refounded in the 2nd century BC. The Northwest is densely covered with building structures laid out on a terrace system and stretches over the entire hill (app. 4 hectares). The area which is located within the walled ancient city is the highest point in the ancient city. One specific research focus is the settlement history of the hill and the continuities and changes which this area underwent over time.

To the west, the area is defined by the ancient city wall with the Northwest Gate and to the north by the North Decumanus. The exact layout of the North Decumanus close to a prominent hill slope is not yet known and is therefore one of the future areas of investigation. To the south, the area is defined by the end of the steep slope and to the east by the monumental Artemision from the 2nd century AD.

Previous field work in the area has been confined to the excavation of the so-called Synagoge Church by Hamilton (published in Kraeling 1938). The Synagoge was converted into a church around AD 530/531. A few trial trenches were laid out by British and American archaeologists in the early 1980s, but the results of these did not bring to light any substantial information about the history of the Northwest Quarter.

News

Scholars study settlement in Jerash in Middle Islamic period

2019.09.22After a devastating earthquake in 749, Jerash was depopulated and it became resettled only after the 12th century, said Professor Rubina Raja from Aarhus University in a recent e-mail interview with The Jordan Times, adding that it is, however, still unclear how many inhabitants lived in Middle Islamic Jerash (9th century - 15th century).

MOOC on ancient cities kicks off today

2019.09.12Today, the MOOC “Discovering Greek & Roman Cities” starts. It is a Massive Open Online Course on ancient urbanism and urbanity for everyone interested.

Data from the ancient “golden river” in Jordanian city of Jerash can help improve today’s sustainability

2019.06.30In the ancient Jordanian city of Gerasa new research has revealed that a so-called “golden river” enabled the city’s population to exploit the hinterland, which increased productivity and created more robust social and economic networks. The sustainable administration of ancient land can be an inspiration for ways to master sustainability today.

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