A glimpse into the archaeological training of the Islamic Baydha Project

Micaela Sinibaldi

Islamic Baydha Project, season 2018

The Islamic Baydha Project offers archaeological training to all its team members, including Jordanians and international trainees and volunteers.

Participants are trained personally by the Project Director, Micaela Sinibaldi, on all activities, which include:

  • Techniques of archaeological excavation
  • Techniques of documentation of excavated stratigraphic units: use of forms for description and documentation of the stratigraphy as well as drawing of the units on a top plan and on sections.
  • Techniques of documentation of Buildings Archaeology, including the description of the  stratigraphy and of the building styles of architectural stratigraphic units and their documentation on top plans and elevations.
  • Creation of a Harris Matrix of stratigraphic units and architectural stratigraphic units
  • Artifacts analysis: preliminary cataloguing of artifacts, including ceramics.
  • Opening and closing of an excavation trench

Training to Jordanian archaeologists is an important component of the project and it aims at giving them the opportunity to build a solid field experience and a professional independence. The project has been training Jordanians in archaeological fieldwork since its first season in 2014. In season 2018, the project has trained three female Jordanians archaeologists who earned an MA from the University of Jordan in 2017. 

Fadhiah Abu Ghrieganah has been trained by the Islamic Baydha Project since 2016, and has currently completed her third year of training with the project. Because of her involvement with this programme, she has gained many new skills, and has today received no less than two job offers as a field archaeologist: one from the Institut Français du Proche-Orient and a long-term one from Sela, a local company working on cultural heritage.  It is very rewarding to see our wonderful team member gaining new experience and making quick steps ahead in her professional path!

Eslam Al-dawodieh and Sereen al Shoubaki have joined the training in season 2018, one year after earning their MA degrees in archaeology from the University of Jordan. Eslam is passionate about the early periods in archaeology, so working on the complex stratigraphy of Islamic Baydha will be a precious experience for her future excavations. Sereen’s main interest is in the Islamic period and she is also an artist, so she has brought to the field her fine drawing skills. They have both been resourceful and hardworking team members and have gained a great deal of experience during this long season 2018. Their first season at Islamic Baydha was their first approach to a new methodology of stratigraphic and graphic documentation, but also to our fabulous local team members, the beauty of the Baydha landscape, and our long, relaxing weekend barbecues under the stars with our lovely local friends.

In addition to the Jordanian graduates in archaeology, other team members have been trained in season 2018. Alexandrine Roche had already joined the project in 2017, as an intern from University of Sorbonne in Paris, where she is currently completing her MA degree in archaeology. Alexandrine has returned to Baydha to work more on the archaeology of the region and to build a solid foundation  of basic fieldwork skills. Her former experience within the project and her daily contribution of endless enthusiasm and good mood have been a precious contribution to the team.

Shayma Taweel had also already joined the team in season 2017. After earning a BA degree in history and archaeology from the University of Sydney, she joined the team with some Arabic language skills, an interest in community engagement projects, and an experience of travel in the Middle East, although she had never visited Petra and Jordan before. It was great to have her back and join our team again, and to see her enjoy in particular the aspect of Buildings Archaeology within the project!

Nadine Fattaleh, a Jordanian trainee with a BA from Columbia University in NYC, has joined the project in 2018 as her first approach to fieldwork archaeology, and, at the same time, has brought to the team her own experience with media, including the use of the video camera. She has filmed, edited and translated interviews to the team members of the Islamic Baydha Project. Enjoy this video, with the interviews to Jordanian trainees from season 2018!

The Islamic Baydha Project website: https://islamicbaydhaproject.wixsite.com/islamicbaydhaproject

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