Thanks to funding from an ASOR Heritage Fellowship, this past summer I was able to join the Karak Resources Project in an excavation at Khirbat al-Mudaybi, a primarily Iron Age fortress in the Karak Plateau region of Jordan. As my first field experience with excavation, this trip was especially valuable for enabling me to apply principles of archaeological method and theory in a field setting, greatly adding to the level of understanding I had previously gained through classroom and laboratory work.
The largest portion of my time at Mudaybi was spent working in a square on the northern half of the site’s multi-chambered Iron Age gate complex. This excavation, an expansion of an uncompleted probe begun in the previous season, uncovered the remaining stones of the wall line which ran at the back of the northern half of the gate complex. Interestingly, the results of this summer’s excavation suggest that this wall line may not have continued across both chambers, and thus that the gate complex was not symmetrical. I also spent time working on a probe inside the site’s inner compound, uncovering a wall face down to exposed bedrock and excavating a substantial collection of Byzantine pottery (from the later rebuilt phase of the site’s occupation). (more…)