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Second update from Jerash

by students Mette Normann Pedersen, Mie Egelund Lind and Line Egelund.

Jerash by night (Photo: Danish-German Jerash Northwest Quarter Project).
Holger's glass station (Photo: Danish-German Jerash Northwest Quarter Project).
Margit Petersen in action (Photo: Danish-German Jerash Northwest Quarter Project).
Will's mosaic station and evening discussions (Photo: Danish-German Jerash Northwest Quarter Project).
Nicole Pieper working in the registration (Photo: Danish-German Jerash Northwest Quarter Project).
Some of the glued pottery finds (Photo: Danish-German Jerash Northwest Quarter Project).

Another week has passed under the hot Jordanian sun. We are all working very hard, and as the trenches have been excavated and the material registered, we have gained a better insight into the time periods in which we are working. They range from late Roman, which we clearly see in Trench S, to the medieval period with Mamluk pottery, which is especially prominent in the Mamluk house in Trench T.

The Mamluk pottery is very exciting for our PhD student Alex Peterson (http://pure.au.dk/portal/da/persons/id(14e366b0-7809-4181-a79c-225122ca0dc6).html), as he is currently working on contextualising both archaeological and historical sources from Jerash within a wider regional framework in order to examine regional and local developments.

In addition to our PhD student, we have several specialists – both present now and joining us later. Firstly, we have our conservator, Margit Petersen (http://www.viborgstiftsmuseum.dk/da_c/om_museet/medarbejdere_0/), who has been part of the team for three years now. Margit has her workstation in close relation to the registration but also works in the field when needed. So far in this campaign, Margit has cleaned several coins, especially found in Trench X; she has also worked on some of the many joining pieces from vessels brought down from Trench V; and furthermore, she has been cleaning the mosaic floor from Trench W, and as such, Margit is also of great value in the field.

Nicole Pieper is our architectural consult, having joined us from Vienna. She has been doing a lot of drawings in Trench V, which is the large Umayyad house/complex. The many well-preserved wall-stones and the colonnaded entrance here take much of her time and focus. She usually spends the first half of the day in the field and the rest of the day in the registration, working on digitising her field drawings and drawing smaller architectural elements.

More permanently in the field is Hans-Peter Klossek (https://rub.academia.edu/HansPeterKlossek), who has been a regular on the team since 2013. He helps with the documentation in the field by making measurements, photographing and making 3D models of the trenches, amongst other things.

Over the past week, two additional specialists have arrived. Last week, Holger Schwarzer (https://www.uni-muenster.de/Archaeologie/personen/schwarzer/schwarzer.html) came from Münster.  He is currently working on the glass finds from the last couple of years.

A few days ago, Will Wootton (http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/classics/people/academic/wootton/index.aspx), our specialist in mosaics, came. Since his arrival, he has worked on getting to know the different contexts of the mosaic and tesserae finds from last year and will soon start work on the finds from this year.

All the specialists will give an evening lecture during their stay where they elaborate on their work. We have already had a few of these and are looking forward to our new team members’ contributions.

Since most of our days go by quickly, and people are already putting in extra hours, we very much enjoy our free time in the evenings. The team spirit is high, and people hang around the camp playing cards, reading books, watching an occasional movie, doing crosswords and discussing both work and other fun topics. Tomorrow it is back to work, but for now, we enjoy the beautiful view of Jerash by night, which is a vivid combination of the ancient ruins illuminated by the city light of modern Jerash.

Mette, Mie og Line


Heike Möller (http://pure.au.dk/portal/da/persons/id(e01c59bb-7e09-45dc-80f7-a129f231988f).html)has returned to Denmark. Though she will bring back sausage (salami) and salty liquorice, the main reason for her departure is to finish her exam.  She will be back within a fortnight.