At the 2014 ASOR Annual Meeting, Sarah Wenner presented her paper, “Udhruh and Its Hinterland during the Nabataean and Roman Periods.” Her paper was 19 minutes long, and presented during the Archaeology of Jordan III Topaz session. We were lucky enough for her to volunteer to share her research and findings with ASORtv. Below you can watch her presentation, and you’ll find the abstract to her paper.
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In ca. 300 CE, the Roman army built a legionary fortress for the legio VI Ferrata at the site of Udhruh, 15 km east of Petra in southern Jordan. The site’s long history began prior to the construction of the fortress, with significant occupation beginning in the Nabataean era, although the most intensive period of regional settlement appeared to be in the Byzantine period (324–630 CE). In the 1980s a British team led by Alister Killick conducted a regional survey and excavated both the fortress and an associated pottery kiln, only briefly mentioned in preliminary reports. Results from this project were never published and, as a result, little is known about the site, which is now experiencing rapid development. Partially in response to this growing threat, a joint Jordanian-Dutch team began surveying the surrounding area in 2011. This paper explores the four seasons of data, primarily from the team’s 2013 and 2014 field seasons, in order to examine how the Roman annexation of Nabataea in 106 CE impacted regional settlement in the Udhruh hinterland. Initial results indicates that regional settlement began to intensify in the final years of the Nabataean kingdom but decreased after the annexation and throughout the Roman period (106–324 CE).
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