ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES IN JORDAN: AN EXAMPLE FROM TELL DEIR 'ALLA
Document Type: Original Article
Archaeology dept., Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology, Yarmouk Univ., Irbd, Jordan
Thousands of archaeological sites are recorded, but unfortunately only some are excavated in Jordan. Many of these were either destroyed or at few cases protected by the local communities, in the meantime others were illegally excavated by the treasure hunters. Archaeological work in Jordan must place the local communities as the heart of protection and presenting efforts of this cultural heritage. It has been argued that by engaging the local communities in the long-term archaeological fieldworks and in restoring and conserving the archaeological sites on year-round programs that might help with local employment, training and education. This paper aims at shedding light on the local communities’ attitude against the archaeological sites. The archaeological site of Tell Deir 'Alla might be considered as a good example of explaining this relation. To discuss, the partners of the project (Jordanian and Dutch) constructed an archaeological research station that includes a small site-museum in which many inhabitants of the town Deir 'Alla are engaged in supervising, cleaning and cooking for the teams excavating at sites in Valley and renting the station. Moreover, the inhabitants of Deir 'Alla and the surroundings are always involved in all activities of the excavations conducted in the Jordan valley. In addition, the Tell Deir 'Alla long-term project produced an excellent relationship amongst the local community and the members of the joint expedition. We assume that due to this good relationship, the financial help offered to the local community of Deir 'Alla, and the archaeological field training offered to the inhabitants of the town Deir 'Alla and the surrounding villages , the site has been saved and protected from destruction and illicit excavations.
Archaeological sites Local communities Excavations Cultural heritage
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