From the Field: The Tell Madaba Archaeological Project…Week 1

Posted: June 23, 2011 - 08:56 , by royal

By Daniel Kwan, Gallery Facillitator and Volunteer

At the precise moment that this blog posts is being written, I am sitting in the comfort of the locally run Ayola Cafe in the city of Madaba, Jordan. You’re probably wondering why I am writing this blog post from Jordan. The answer is simple, I’m an archaeologist!

After a rather uncomfortable 20-hour journey from Toronto to London to Amman (the Capital city of Jordan), followed by a 30-minute car ride to Madaba, I have finally arrived! Although I am a gallery facilitator in the biodiversity and hands-galleries at the ROM, I am currently on leave and in the field serving as a dig supervisor on the Tell Madaba Archaeological Project (TMAP). Led by Dr. Debra Foran (who is also a teacher at the ROM), TMAP represents only a portion of a regional archaeological effort that aims to investigate the development of urban institutions and the rise of early state-ordered societies in the Northern Levant and southeastern Turkey. The city of Madaba is easily one of my favorite places in the world to live. The food is wonderful, the views are gorgeous and, most importantly, the residents of Jordan are some of the nicest people I have ever had the opportunity to meet.

I am joined by seven other supervisors who, like myself, were students on the dig during the last field season. I will be in charge of teaching and facilitating the illustration of objects and their organization. At this very moment our site, which is situated within the centre of a residential area, will require a considerable amount of cleaning before we can begin our excavations. For instance, it is quite difficult to see the bottom of my excavation unit/square, which is designated 5M11B3, due to the presence of plants that have been growing since the end of the 2010 field season. However, I have faith that we will complete our excavation due to a group of four very enthusiastic students who will join me on this incredible journey!

It feels like I’ve come back home! Till next time!