Second Fieldwork Season
Monday 29th October - Monday 12th November
The Great Arab Revolt Project (GARP) is planned as a ten-year project to investigate First World War archaeology in Jordan and develop new heritage sites for visitors. In contrast to the Western Front, where considerable fieldwork has taken place, First World War remains in Jordan have never been systematically investigated. These remains have particular interest for four reasons:
Our aim, working closely with Jordanian colleagues and local communities, is to catalogue the visible remains (buildings and earthworks), to carry out surveys and trial excavations at a representative sample of sites, to record oral histories and folk memories, and to develop one or more sites for effective public presentation.
Work in the first season (November 2006) focused on two main sites. Ma'an was the principal Ottoman military base in what is now southern Jordan, and we have established that the high ground for miles around the Hijaz railway station was entrenched in 1916-1918, transforming the area into a First World War trench fortress. Wadi Rutm, about 60 km south of Ma'an, is the site of a fortified railway station, an Ottoman army camp, a fortified hilltop redoubt, and various other military features on and close to the former railway line extending in both directions. While Ma'an represents a major, heavily defended base, Wadi Rutm represents the militarisation of communication lines and the landscape more generally. (For a full summary report on the 2006 fieldwork, see Current World Archaeology 23.) These two sites together constitute an effective initial sample of the archaeology of the Arab Revolt, and will therefore continue to be the principal foci of our fieldwork.
The Great Arab Revolt Project is based at the University of Bristol, and is supported by the Jordanian Department of Antiquities, the al-Hussein bin Talal University, the Council for British Research in the Levant, HRH Prince Hassan, and Current World Archaeology magazine.
The 2007 fieldwork season
At Ma'an we plan four main activities this year:
At Wadi Rutm we plan three main activities this year:
(It must be stressed that archaeological fieldwork is dynamic, and that plans may therefore be modified by discoveries and practicalities in the field.)
At present we are unable to fund places on the expedition beyond a very small core team. All other participants at this stage in the development of the project are self-funding. This includes a contribution to the cost of post-excavation work and the publication of results (without which archaeological fieldwork cannot be justified). The price per person for the 2007 season is £2,050.
This sum will cover the entire two-week fieldwork season, including flights, 3-star hotel accommodation, good-quality food, and comprehensive insurance. Our current plan is again to use the Candles Hotel at Wadi Musa. This ensures private accommodation with en-suite facilities in a pleasant, medium-sized, family-run hotel. Two day-excursions are also included in the price, one to Petra (the hotel is located only a few minutes walk from the entrance to the archaeological site), one to Aqaba, taking in sites associated with Lawrence's campaigns, including Wadi Rum.
Jordan is a friendly and welcoming country, but the geographical, economic, political and cultural differences between Britain and Jordan are considerable. Though our aim is to maximise comfort and convenience - to maintain our own morale, to ensure good work is done, and to make the whole experience the fun that archaeology should be - we cannot guarantee that everything will always go smoothly. On the other hand, all participants will be encouraged to share ownership of the expedition, to participate fully in decision-making and problem-solving, and thus be part of a team which works as an effective collective.
In setting up the expedition, we will need to complete formalities and make bookings, and in doing so we will incur expenses. It is important, therefore, that we establish who is joining us at an early stage. If you wish to join the expedition, you will need to send us the following by 24th August at the latest:
Please note that you will also need to ensure that your typhoid, hepatitis A and tetanus vaccinations are up to date. You should send your deposit cheque, passport photos, CV, and security form/medical insurance information to: Filiz Altinoluk, GARP Administrator, 54 Cornwall Road, South Bank, London, SE1 9PU, 0207 261 0075, 07889 904706, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are applying from outside Britain, we will strongly recommend flying to London to join the main group here. If for any reason this is likely to be especially impractical or inappropriate, then please contact us to discuss the matter.
Places are limited. We will allocate places to all suitable applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Early booking may, therefore, be advisable.
Dr Neil Faulkner