Preliminary Report on the 2001 Season

I. Introduction

The field season 2001 of the International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP) lasted from September 23 to October 18. the IWFP 2002 was carried out by the Association for the Understanding of Ancient Cultures (AUAC), based in Basel (Switzerland) and the Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF, London). We would like to thank the director general of the Department of Antiquities, Dr. Fawwaz Al-Khraysheh, for his support and for granting the working permit as well as Dr. Fawzi Zayadine (Amman) and Prof. David Graf (Miami) for their continuous interest in the project. The IWFP is grateful to Cyprus Airways (Larnaca) for assisting in transport, to Kodak International S. A. (Lausanne) for providing photographic material under generous terms and to Sylvia Bernasconi (Zug) for supporting the project.

Team of the year 2001 (photo: S. G. Schmid)
Team of the year 2001 (photo: S. G. Schmid)

Beside the writer, the following persons participated in the 2000 season of the IWFP: Caroline Huguenot, MA (Lausanne), Dr. Martin Seyer (Vienna), Khalil Hamdan, MA (representative of the Department of Antiquities) whose help and advice were much appreciated. Sixteen workmen from the B’dool and Amarin tribes were employed. Further, the IWFP 2002 season would not have been possible without the friendly cohabitation in the John Lewis Burckhardt Centre (Nazzal’s Camp) with the team from Basel University carrying out the Swiss-Liechtenstein excavations at az-Zantur; the practical advice of Dr. Bernhard Kolb (Basel) did much advance our campaign. We would also like to thank IFAPO Amman for lodging the team during its stay at Amman. The Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece provided technical support for which we would like to thank its director, Prof. Pierre Ducrey (Lausanne). Finally, Markus Peter (Augst) analysed the coins and Robin Brown (Harvard) provided helpful comments on medieval pottery. During the field season 2001 H. E. Dr. Rolf Bodenmüller, Swiss ambassador to Jordan, visited the IWFP as well as Dr. Konstantinos Politis, member of the executive committee of the PEF.

Fig. 1: General plan of main installations in the Wadi Farasa East, based on Bachmann, Watzinger and Wiegand 1921, digitalised and modified by S. Fachard (Lausanne)
Fig. 1: General plan of main installations in the Wadi Farasa East, based on Bachmann, Watzinger and Wiegand 1921, digitalised and modified by S. Fachard (Lausanne)

After the results of the 2000 season (cf. Schmid 2001; Schmid 2001A) work on the upper and lower terraces of the Wadi Farasa East continued with the following soundings and trenches (Fig. 1): On the upper terrace work in trench 7 in front of the big cistern was continued in order to completely clean the two water basins partially excavated last year and to understand their connection to the so-called Garden Triclinium. For this purpose and to find out more about its proper function, the space in front of the „Garden Triclinium“ was cleaned too (trench 5 on fig. 1). On the lower terrace sounding 2 was extended towards the centre of the courtyard between the so-called Soldier Tomb and the opposite triclinium (Fig. 1). Further, trench 1 was opened in order to gain a better picture about the condition of the big main retaining wall of the lower terrace showing since many years broken out stones in its middle part and, therefore, maybe being in danger of collapsing. Trench 4 towards the southern corner of the complex was only partially opened.