The International Wadi Farasa Project

Preliminary Report on the 2005 Season

by Stephan G. Schmid

I. Introduction and acknowledgments

The field season 2005 of the International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP) lasted from August 14th to September 1st. The Schmid – Barmasse 2006 was carried out by the Association for the Understanding of Ancient Cultures (AUAC), based in Basel (Switzerland) and the University of Montpellier III (France) and was generously sponsored by Wirth+Wirth Architects (Basel, Switzerland). 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), Prof. David Graf (Miami) and Dr. Bernhard Kolb (Basel) for their continuous interest in the project.

Team of year 2005 (photo: S. G. Schmid)
Team of the year 2005 (photo: S. G. Schmid)

Beside the writer the following persons participated in the 2005 season of the IWFP: the archaeologists André Barmasse, MA (Basel), Aurélien Amour, BA (Montpellier) and Lucy Wadeson, MPhil (Oxford), the restorer Urs Lang, BA (La Chaux-de-Fonds), the architect Pascal Wirth (Basel) and the software engineer Dominik Wirth (Basel). Representative of the Department of Antiquities was Tahani Al-Salhi whose help and advice were much appreciated. Eleven workmen and one teawoman from the B’dool tribe were employed. We would also like to thank IFPO Amman and especially its director Jean-François Salles for lodging the team during its stay at Amman.

Fig. 1: Wadi Farasa East, general plan (after Bachmann, Watzinger, Wiegand, modified by A. Barmasse)
Fig. 1: Wadi Farasa East, general plan (after Bachmann, Watzinger, Wiegand, modified by A. Barmasse)

Following the results of the previous campaigns of the project Cf. Schmid 2005. for the results of the previous season as well as for further bibliographical references), the following trenches and soundings were opened (cf. fig. 1): The rock plateau at the NE end of the huge entrance building that was partially exposed last year was completely excavated (no. 1 on fig. 1). Within the northern portico of the complex a trench measuring 5 m x 5 m was opened behind room 2 in order to expose the next couple of columns and to allow the temporary construction of a wall in order to canalize the water and sand brought into the complex by winter rainfalls (no. 2 on fig. 1). The rock plateau around the western corner of the complex was cleaned and the structures that were discovered were excavated (no. 3 on fig. 1).