Heritage Grant Recipient Jocelyn Cavanaugh Describes her summer on an archaeological field project in Madaba, Jordan

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This 2011 summer I had the incredible opportunity to participate on an archaeological field project in Madaba, Jordan with the help of ASOR Heritage Fellowship. During the 6 weeks of this archaeological dig, I explored the history, culture and way of life of past peoples through excavated historical architecture and artifacts dating from the Bronze Age to the Islamic period. I worked with the amazing Debra Foran and a hardworking team where together we uncovered endless amounts of bone, pottery and architectural structures.

Along with five other students, I focused on unit 5M21V4 of the archaeological site where the majority of the uncovered material dated to the Iron Age Period. In our square new architecture was uncovered such as an Iron Age II wall that may possibly have abutted a room in our neighbouring archaeological unit. One of the most fascinating objects found in an early locus of my square was that of an Iron Age II female head clay figurine. Interestingly enough, found within the same locus was a small bead made of mother of pearl. These finds could suggest that women resided in this room.

Once finished excavating and mapping, laboratory week began which was comprised of flotation, data entry, object drawing and pottery registration and drawing. Throughout my time in Jordan there were weekly excursions where we were able to explore different parts of this beautiful country. These trips alone were eye opening, allowing us to explore history first hand by travelling through castles and ancient ruins. This archaeological field project was overall an amazing experience and I am honoured and privileged to have been chosen to embark on this summer abroad program in Jordan. I worked with amazing supervisors, Jordanian workmen and like-minded students who all worked incredibly as a team. This experience would not have been possible without the assistance of ASOR Heritage Fellowship and I am deeply appreciative for this opportunity.

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