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About the project

Despite its strategic location and the imposing remains of the site’s military fort, presumed caravanserai, and hydraulic infrastructure, there is still a great deal about Khirbet al-Khalde that is unknown. Previous visits to the site have only resulted in a limited understanding of its chronology and development over the longue durée. Furthermore, the site has never been studied in any great detail, nor has it been examined in a perspective which locates it within the wider framework of the transport network and economy of this part of the ancient world and beyond.

The primary aims of the Khirbet al-Khalde Archaeological Project are as follows:

  1. Develop an improved chronology for the site, including an understanding of its development over the longue durée.
  2. Investigate site resilience, such as resource use, diet, water management at the site.
  3. Investigate the role of trade, including both long-distance (Red Sea) and regional trade.
  4. Assess damage and threats to the site and help conserve its archaeological remains.

This survey season 2023 will be the first in-depth survey of the site and will bring together previous research to present a comprehensive picture of the status of the site’s visible remains. The survey will cover the site of Khirbet al-Khalde’s structures and the surrounding territory of the site, an area of approximately 4.7 km2.

The survey will also carefully document disturbances to the site as well as potential future risks to its archaeological heritage. It will also result in a detailed plan of Khirbet al-Khalde, which will help with its future study.