The International Wadi Farasa Project

Preliminary Report on the 2006 Season

by Stephan G. Schmid

I. Introduction and acknowledgments

The field season 2006 of the International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP) lasted from August 20th to 31st, followed by a week of studying the finds from this as well as from previous seasons. The IWFP 2006 was carried out by the Association for the Understanding of Ancient Cultures (AUAC:, based in Basel (Switzerland) and was generously sponsored by the CNRS (French National Centre of Scientific Research) and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 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. Jacqueline Dentzer-Feydy (Paris), Dr. Christian Augé (Amman), Dr. Fawzi Zayadine (Amman), Prof. David F. Graf (Miami) and Dr. Bernhard Kolb (Basel) for their continuous interest in the project. We would also like to thank IFPO Amman and especially its director Dr. Jean-François Salles for lodging the team during its stay at Amman.

Team of year 2006 (photo: S. G. Schmid)
Team of the year 2006 (photo: S. G. Schmid)

The following persons participated in the 2006 season of the IWFP: the archaeologists Stephan G. Schmid (director), André Barmasse, MA (Basel), Dr. Caroline Huguenot (Lausanne), Bénédicte Renoult, MA (Montpellier), the photographer Dr. Jérôme Rizzo (Montpellier), the architect Pascal Wirth (Basel) and the software engineer Dominik Wirth (Basel). Representative of the Department of Antiquities was Samia Falahat, MA, whose help and advice were much appreciated. Nine workmen and one teawoman from the B’dool tribe were employed.

Fig. 1: Wadi Farasa East, general plan of the Soldier Tomb’s complex (A. Barmasse after Bachmann and Watzinger and Wiegand 1921)
Fig. 1: Wadi Farasa East, general plan of the Soldier Tomb’s complex (A. Barmasse after Bachmann and Watzinger and Wiegand 1921)

Following the results of the previous campaigns of the project Cf. Schmid – Barmasse 2006 for the results of the previous season as well as for further bibliographical references; see also the preliminary reports of the consecutive seasons on , the following trenches and soundings were opened (cf. fig. 1): At the emplacement of the northern porticus a square was opened, mainly in order to facilitate the circulation of the other excavation activities (no. 1 on fig. 1). Underneath the rocky plateau on the NE side of the complex, a rock cut room became appearing since the 2004 season of the project; however, the ancient level of that room never was reached so far and, therefore, consisted one of the goals of the 2006 season, in order to clarify the chronology and the function of that room (no. 2 on fig. 1). An other aspect related to further precisions of chronology and function of the installations of the Soldier’s Tomb complex was pursued with a small sounding in room 4 (no. 3 on fig. 1). Beginning in 2005, a systematic attempt for a three dimensional digital reconstruction of the complex of the Soldiers’s Tomb was launched. The preliminary results obtained so far were verified in situ during the 2006 campaign and already some corrections and precisions were possible. Finally, some remaining questions related to the „Renaissance Tomb“ Brünnow – Domaszewski 1904: 158 no. 229; cf. Schmid/Huguenot/B’dool 2004. further down the Wadi Farasa East were resolved during this year’s campaign.