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PEF AGM LECTURE: Twenty Years of Survey and Excavations at Zoara in the Ghor as-Safi, Jordan. 1997-2017

Konstantinos Politis, Hellenic Society for Near Eastern Studies



4pm, 8th June 2017, BP Lecture Theatre, Clore Education Centre, British Museum. To book, contact the British Museum Box Office:  020 7323 8181 or     and go to the 'What's On' option at the top of the BM homepage. Then choose the 'Events Calendar'  and scroll down the page to see events listed by date and time.

Lecture Poster 8th June 2017 AGM.pdf


Zoara PEF AGM Lecture 2017
Photo: The site of Zoara at the foot of the Moabite Hills. Courtesy of Jane Taylor.

Zoara was one of the famed five ‘Cities of the Plain’ (Genesis 13), which, according to the Bible, survived the wrath of God while others such as Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. It was strategically located at a major crossroad on the southern Dead Sea littoral, making it supremely well placed to take advantage of the region’s diverse agriculture, mineral wealth, and trade opportunities. Substantial Neolithic, Early Bronze Age and Iron Age remains attest to significant settlements there. In later antiquity, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic sources mention its economic prosperity based on agricultural products. Recent archaeological works have confirmed Zoara’s regional importance throughout history, and brought to light exciting new evidence to verify its identification. All this will now be published by the PEF in a forthcoming volume in its ‘Annual’ series and presented in this lecture by the excavation project director.

Archaeologist Konstantinos D. Politis is chairperson of the Hellenic Society for Near Eastern Studies and an active member of the Palestine Exploration Fund. He has excavated in numerous European and Middle eastern countries from Lichtenstein to Oman. From 1988 until 2011 he was based at the British Museum which was the principal sponsor of his on-going excavations in Jordan at Ancient Zoara and teh Sacntuary of Lot, and and at Ras al-Hadd in Oman. He has also conducted extensive mosaic conservation and documentation projects in Syria and in Jordan, and and was the originator of the newly-opened Museum at the Lowest Place on Earth at Zoara. Recently, he co-ordinated exhibitions on the history of industry in modern Greece (2104), the Prehistory of Euboea (2016) and Mosaics on Euboea (2016), and has recently concluded a UNESCO project reviving the indigo industry in Jordan.

Over the past 25 years, Dr Politis has presented many scholarly and popular lectures in Europe, the Near East, Australia and North America. He regularly leads academic tour groups to Greece, Jordan, Turkey, Oman, Egypt and Syria.

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