The International Wadi Farasa Project

Preliminary Report on the 2009 Season

by Stephan G. Schmid

I. Introduction and acknowledgments

The field season 2009 of the International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP) lasted from July 26th to August 20th. The IWFP 2009 was carried out by the Association for the Understanding of Ancient Cultures (AUAC:, based in Basel (Switzerland), in collaboration with the Humboldt-University (Berlin, Germany) and was generously sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as well as the cluster of excellence „Topoi“ (Berlin) and the Humboldt-University. 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. Eimad Hijazeen, director of the Petra Park Authority for the kind logistic support. We would also like to thank the German Institute (DEI) at Amman as well as IFPO Amman and especially its director Dr. Jean-François Salles for lodging the team during its stay at Amman.

The following persons participated in the 2009 season of the IWFP. As archaeologists: Stephan G. Schmid (Berlin, director), André Barmasse, MA (Basel), Laurent Gorgerat, MA (Basel), Christoph Schneider, MA (Basel), Marco Dehner, BA (Berlin), Maxie M. Haufe (Berlin) and Will Kennedy (Berlin); as geographers: Brian Beckers, MA (Berlin) and Nils Rhensius, BA (Berlin); as archaeozoologist: Dr. Jacqueline Studer (Geneva); as photographer: Antonia Weisse (Berlin). Representative of the Department of Antiquities was Talal Hamed al-Amarin, MA, whose help and advice were very much appreciated. Eighteen workmen and one teawoman from the B’dool tribe were employed. During the teams sojourn at Nazzal’s Camp, Ali Chalaf al-B’dool was a very efficient and helpful camp manager.

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

Following the results of the previous campaigns of the project cf. Schmid in press for the results of the previous season as well as for further bibliographical references; see also the preliminary reports of the consecutive seasons on and in the previous volumes of ADAJ. , the following trenches and soundings were opened (cf. fig. 1): In the northern portico, underneath the rocky plateau on the NE side of the complex, the last two squares within the portico were excavated (no. 1 on fig. 1). One square was opened in the area of the courtyard of the complex, adjacent to the one already accomplished in 2001 (no. 2 on fig. 1). The small sounding that was put down within the southernmost entrance to the huge triclinium of the complex in 2007 was enlarged and reached the main entrance of the triclinium in 2009 (no. 3 on fig. 1). For the first time since the beginning of the project in 2000, an attempt was made to reach the Nabataean floor levels within the southern portico, more specifically in the area of the rock-cut room in the central area of the southern portico (no. 4 on fig. 1). And finally, six remaining pit tombs on the western outcrop of the complex were excavated (no. 5 on fig. 1), completing the excavation of the previous 11 pit tombs in 2005 cf. Schmid and Barmasse 2006; Schmid et al. 2008. .