International Wadi Farasa Project

Preliminary Report on the 2002 Season

by Stephan G. Schmid

I. Introduction

The field season 2002 of the International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP) lasted from September 1st to September 26. the IWFP 2003 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.

Team of the year 2002 (photo: S. G. Schmid)
Team of the year 2002 (photo: S. G. Schmid)

Beside the writer, the following persons participated in the 2002 season of the IWFP: Caroline Huguenot, MA (Lausanne), Isabelle Sachet, MA (Paris), Dr. Konstantinos Politis (PEF, London) and Khaled Achmed Al-Houaura, MA (representative of the Department of Antiquities) whose help and advice were much appreciated. Sixteen workmen from the B’dool and Saydeen tribes were employed. Further, the IWFP 2003 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. Dr. Markus Peter (Augst) analysed the coins found during the previous seasons and Dr. Jacqueline Studer the animal bones.

Fig. 1: Wadi Farasa East, schematic plan (S. Fachard, after Bachmann et al.)
Fig. 1: Wadi Farasa East, schematic plan (S. Fachard, after Bachmann et al.)

Following the results of the previous seasons Cf. Schmid 2001; Schmid 2002; 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 5, containing the so-called Garden Triclinium and the space in front of it, continued in order to completely clean the two cisterns partially excavated last year. Further, the first rock cut room of the triclinium itself was cleared from the remains of previous use as a stable for sheep and goats (trench 5 on fig. 1). On the lower terrace sounding 1 was extended towards East, South and West and contains now almost all of the huge entrance complex (figs. 1. 2). In addition trench 8 in front of the Soldier Tomb was opened with the purpose to find the doorway leading to the tomb and to get a better picture about the supposed stairways leading to the courtyard.