The International Wadi Farasa Project

Preliminary Report on the 2003 Season

by Stephan G. Schmid

I. Introduction and acknowledgments

The field season 2003 of the International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP) lasted from August 24th to September 18th. The Schmid – Barmasse 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. We are very glad to announce that since 2003 Nestlé Pure Life, the bottled water division of Nestlé International S. A., represented in Jordan by Ghadeer Mineral Waters, is sponsoring our project.

Beside the writer, the following persons participated in the 2003 season of the IWFP: André Barmasse, MA (Basel), Caroline Huguenot, MA (Lausanne), Dr. Konstantinos Politis (PEF, London) and Ahmad Juma’ al-Shami, MA (representative of the Department of Antiquities) whose help and advice were much appreciated. Seventeen workmen and one teawoman from the B’dool tribe were employed. Further, the Schmid – Barmasse 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.

Fig. 1: Wadi Farasa East, general plan (S. Fachard after Bachmann, Watzinger and Wiegand 1921)
Fig. 1: Wadi Farasa East, general plan (S. Fachard after Bachmann, Watzinger and Wiegand 1921)

Following the results of the previous seasons Cf. Schmid 2001; IWFP 200; Schmid 2001A; Schmid 2003. 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 trenches 5 and 6, containing the so-called Garden Triclinium and the space in front of it, continued in order to completely clean the entire structure. The second 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, West and North, exposing further rooms belonging to the entrance complex (Fig. 1). In addition trench 2 from the 2000 and 2001 seasons was partially reopened and extended towards East.