International Wadi Farasa Project

Preliminary Report on the 2007 Season

by Stephan G. Schmid

I. Introduction and acknowledgments

The field season 2007 of the International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP) lasted from August 12th to September 6th. The IWFP 2007 was part of the French project „from Petra to Wadi Rum“, directed by Dr. Christian Augé (CNRS, IFPO Amman). The IWFP 2007 was carried out by the Association for the Understanding of Ancient Cultures (AUAC: www.auac.ch), based in Basel (Switzerland) and was generously sponsored by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the CNRS (French National Centre of Scientific Research) and the University Paul Valéry – Montpellier III (France). 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. 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 as well as Suleiman Farajat, director of the Petra Park Authority for the logistic support.

The following persons participated in the 2007 season of the IWFP: the archaeologists Stephan G. Schmid (director), André Barmasse, MA (Basel), Laurent Gorgerat, MA (Basel), Bénédicte Renoult, MA (Montpellier), Corinne Gosset, BA (Montpellier) and Aurélie Guet, BA (Montpellier). Representative of the Department of Antiquities was Abduraheem Hazeem, MA, whose help and advice were very much appreciated. Ten workmen and one teawoman from the B’dool and Saydine tribe were employed. During the teams sojourn at Nazzal’s Camp, Shaher Mohammed al-B’dool was a very efficient and helpful camp manager.

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 2007B for the results of the previous season as well as for further bibliographical references; see also the preliminary reports of the consecutive seasons on www.auac.ch/iwfp , the following trenches and soundings were opened (cf. fig. 1): At the emplacement of the northern portico a square was opened, in order to connect the already excavated parts in the centre of the portico with the first sounding that was carried out during the 2000 campaign at the SW corner of the portico (no. 1 on fig. 1). Underneath the rocky plateau on the NE side of the complex, the Medieval structures that we started to expose in 2006 were again the object of several trenches (no. 2 on fig. 1). A small sounding was put down within the southernmost entrance to the huge triclinium of the complex (no. 3 on fig. 1). And finally, the rock-cut room related to the rocky outcrop in the SW side of the complex was cleaned as well as the rocky surface in front of it (no. 4 on fig. 1).