About the Dhiban Project (www.dhiban.org)
The Dhiban Excavation and Development Project (DEDP) investigates the archaeology, environment, and history of Dhiban, a Middle Eastern town located today in west-central Jordan. Dhiban has been settled intermittently over the past five millennia and is today the largest town on the Dhiban Plateau.
Started in 2004, the DEDP is a collaborative project involving scholars from Europe, the Middle East, and North America.
The project’s work week begins on Sunday morning and ends Thursday evening. Each work day begins with a first breakfast at 4:15am in the hotel in Madaba prior to leaving for Dhiban on rented buses at 4:45am. A few participants stay in Madaba to process excavated artifacts with the object registrar. Students arrive at the site around 5:30 am to start the workday. Field school members work together with hired workmen from Dhiban until 1:00pm. On most days, the work is hot (between 75 and 95+ degrees F), dusty, and physically demanding. Students should be in at least average physical shape and have a tolerance for dirty conditions, walking up and down hills, and carrying equipment. There is a 30-minute break for second breakfast and a later 15-minute break for tea. Buses leave the site to return to Madaba at 1 PM and lunch is eaten in the hotel restaurant at 2:00pm. Students have free-time until 4PM. During most evenings, students will participate in afternoon lab exercises with staff. During instructional evenings once or twice per week, students will meet in a classroom in the hotel. Dinner is served at 7PM in the hotel dining room. After dinner, students can explore Madaba, do laundry, read course materials, or catch up on email. Students are encouraged to go to bed by 9PM each night in order to be rested for the next day’s work.
Weekends begin on Thursday night at 6PM and last until Saturday night at 8PM. Fieldtrips are scheduled for most weekends. On weekend days where no events are scheduled, students have the freedom to explore Jordan, leaving on their own from the tourist hub of Madaba. During these trips, students are not under the instructor’s supervision.
Dhiban is a Jordanian town located in Madaba Governorate, approximately 70 kilometers south of Amman and east of the Dead Sea. Previously nomadic, the modern community settled the town in the 1950s. Today, Dhiban is approximately 15,000 members strong, with many working in the army, government agencies, or in seasonal agricultural production. A number of young people study in nearby universities in Karak, Madaba, and Amman. Most inhabitants practice Islam.
Madaba is the capital city of Madaba Governorate of Jordan, which has a population of about 60,000. Madaba is the fifth most populous town in Jordan. It is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, especially a large Byzantine-era mosaic map of The Holy Land. Madaba is located 30 kilometers south-west of the capital Amman.
Accommodations & Meals
Students will stay in a hotel in Madaba and will be provided with 3 meals/day
Weather & Climate
On most days, the work is hot (between 70 and 90 degrees F), dusty, and physically demanding. The team waits out the worst of the heat of the day in the on-site lunch tent.
U.S. Department of State Country Specific Information for Jordan
Jordanian Ministry of Tourism
Jordanian Embassy in the U.S.