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  arc 1998-99 Consolidation at Petra and Research at Home in Providence elephant elephant

In the Field at the Great Temple site

Consolidation and site protection were in part funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and an American Express Award through World Monuments Watch, a program of the World Monuments Fund.

Under the masterful supervision of Dakhilallah Qublan many of the objectives outlined in the 1998 season became a reality. The overall supervision of the project was undertaken by Pierre Bikai of the American Center for Oriental Research who documented the progress of the work.

1998-1999 Research At Home in Providence

This Web Page was updated by Adam Brin.

In 1998 Sara Karz, presented her M.A. Thesis for the Brown University Department of Anthropology writing on, " The Change in Color of "Colorless" Glass at the Great Temple, Petra, Jordan."


Erika L. Schluntz finalized her Ph.D. at Brown University's Center for Old World Archaeology and Art; topic: From Royal to Public Assembly Space: The Transformation of the "Great Temple" Complex at Petra.

I presented the Great Temple: Questions About Functional Analysis" at the Seventh International Congress on the History and Archaeology of Jordan in Copenhagen, Denmark as well as our 1988 results at the Annual Meetings of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Orlando Florida.

Associate Director Joseph J. Basile presented our 1998 findings at the Annual Meetings of the Archaeological Institute of America in Washington and his research on the Tyche sculpture was published in the Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan Vol. XLII.

In 1998 seven of our publications appeared including our 1997 excavation report in the Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan Vol. XLII.

The Five Year publication was finally published by the Brown University Petra Exploration Fund. The volume was designed by Simon M. Sullivan and Kirsten K. Hammann.

1999. Petra: The Great Temple, Vol. I Brown University Excavations 1993-1997, by Martha Sharp Joukowsky. With Contributions by Christian Augé, Deirdre G. Barrett, Joseph J. Basile, Jean Blackburn, Leigh-Ann Bedal, Donna J. D'Agostino, Sara G. Karz, Elizabeth E. Payne, Thomas R. Paradise, Erika L. Schluntz, Monica L. Sylvester, Stephen V. Tracy, Loa P. Traxler, Terry Tullis, Peter Warnock, and Paul C. Zimmerman. 464 pages, $73.95.

The accompanying CD-ROM was designed and created by Adam M. Brin.

Martha Sharp Joukowsky delivered some 20 lectures including one at the Smithsonian Institution and two at the National Geographic Society in Washington DC.


Erika L. Schluntz defended her Ph.D. dissertation, From Royal to Public Assembly Space: The Transformation of the "Great Temple" Complex at Petra, at Brown University's Center for Old World Archaeology and Art. This valuable work seeks to test the idea of the function of the temple. With essential theoretical ideas she questions and challenges the building's identification, and argues convincingly that it served a civic function as an odeion.

Eight Great Temple fresco fragments were analyzed by the Institut Canadien de Conservation under the direction of Marie-Claude Corbeil and Kate Helweg. The results of their findings are presented in ARL Report 3779 dated March 19,1999. The fragments originated in the Trench 53 'cistern' area in the Upper Temenos East. The fresco support was contained mainly of sand (quartz) with a small amount of calcite and a trace of gypsum. No organic binding medium was detected. The two green fresco fragments were identified as green earth; the red painted fragments were of red earth a mixture of hematite and associated minerals such as kaolin. Two blue fragments were identified as Egyptian blue which has been found in Pompeii and at Dura Europos. The yellow pigments were yellow earth, i.e., a mixture of goethite and associated minerals such as clays. One black colored fragment held a yellow layer underneath it. The black was a carbon-based black whose source was undetermined. The analysis suggests that the Great Temple frescos are true fresco, because there was no binding medium and the pigments were placed directly onto the wet support. The same pigments were found on frescoes from the Roman fort excavated by John Oleson at Humeima.

Eileen Vote has processed data from a photogrammetric survey of selected areas of the Upper Temenos. While in Petra she produced a series of measurable photos with a calibrated 35mm camera and referenced control points plotted on temple elevations. The control points were shot in by the team surveyor, Paul Zimmerman. Eileen has succeeded in producing 3D models of several areas with a high level of accuracy. For example, over a span of one meter, measurements generated from the photos are approximately 6mm different (per one meter of elevation covered) from control points taken from the EDM survey. Working with the measured photos she produced in a modeling software package developed by the Brown University Graphics Laboratory, Eileen hopes to generate a model of the extant architectural remains and from that a full reconstruction. Additionally Eileen has been working with the GIS results to plot artifact finds in the context of the entire Great Temple excavation. This will enable her to generate a variety of 3D diagrams of the site with concentrations of different artifact finds in trench and locus locations.

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