Luckily for me, I've had a front row seat in the exploration of archeology via my fabulous fellow Fulbright friend Elizabeth. As she moves through the year exploring her project on the stolen antiquities trade, she has generously afforded me opportunities to go to talks, experience a day at a dig and most recently, take a day trip to tour different archaeological sites under the guidance of professional archaeologists.
During our day-long adventure we travelled on a bus to first Deir Alla and then Pella, and were led around by an archaeologist who worked for the Jordanian Department of Antiquities before his retirement. Deir Alla was the first Bronze Age city excavated in Jordan, and the work of excavation was begun back in 1960. The Big Discovery of Deir Alla is the Inscription of Ballam, a prophecy that was written by the Old Testament Prophet Ballam on a plastered wall sometime between 840 and 760 BC. The plaster chipped off, but 119 pieces were recovered, allowing the inscription to be reconstructed.
|Elizabeth, standing in front of a very large excavated building foundation at Deir Alla.|
|It was a gorgeous spring day and Jordanian families were out in force at the Pella site with portable barbecues and picnics. You'd never know we were less than an hour away from the Syrian border.|
|Here I am leaving the lovely and cool guest house to go for a hike in the broiling sun.|
|The view from the top, which made it all worth while.|