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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.


The Wadi Suf Watershed is the fertile riverine hinterland of Gerasa (modified from Nezar Hammouri and Ali El-Naqa, “GIS-based hydrogeological vulnerability mapping of groundwater resources in Jerash area—Jordan,” Geofisica Internacional 47 (2008): 85–97; DEM from USGS, 2011).

Scaling up and zooming in: Global history and high-definition archaeology perspectives on the longue durée of urban–environmental relations in Gerasa (Jerash, Jordan)

2021.03.22New publication by Professor Rubina Raja, Professor Achim Lichtenberger (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster), Professor Eivind Heldaas Seland (University of Bergen) and Professor Ian A. Simpson (University of Stirling).

Lokal keramik var populært i den antikke by Gerasa

2021.03.11I to videnskabelige artikler giver arkæologer nye bud på, hvorfor lokal keramik tilsyneladende var meget populært i den antikke by Gerasa. Artiklerne giver også et indblik i forskernes overvejelser om økonomi og handelsmønstre i området på den tid. Artiklerne er baseret på analyser af mere end 625.000 keramikskår fra Gerasa, som er produceret over en periode på cirka 600 år.

A Study of the Centuries-Long Reliance on Local Ceramics in Jerash Through Full Quantification and Simulation

2021.02.18New publication by Iza Romanowska, Tom Brughmans, Philip Bes, Simon Carrignon, Line Egelund, Achim Lichtenberger and Rubina Raja.

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Ceramics in Context 2015-2018

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