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News: Umm el-Jimal Project

August 2015

Umm el-Jimal Project: Website and Social Media

Visit the Umm el-Jimal Project Website for the latest updates from the project, as well as a virtual museum, educational resources, fieldwork archive, and more.

The UJ Project also has new social media accounts. Connect with the project on...

  • Facebook: become a fan for news alerts and announcements
  • Blog: read up on current project research and events
  • Flickr: view our photo archive of assorted project photos from 1974 onward


September 2013

New Grants for Umm el-Jimal Project, 2014-2017 announced this spring and summer

New grants awarded this spring and summer provide funds to continue the work at Umm el-Jimal:

Continuation of Preservation and Presentation of House XVII-XVIII at Umm el-Jimal, Ambassadors’ Fund for Cultural Preservation (U. S, State Department), 2014, $45,000.

See and for the latest news on preservation work at the site.

Empowering rural women in Mafraq Governorate through the management and preservation of the Umm el-Jimal’s archeological site in Jordan as income-generating activities, a UNESCO, UN Women and Umm el-Jimal Project Partnership. 2013-2016, First-year joint funding $108,000.

Urban Transformation in the Southern Levant, a collaborative project involving Geography, Archaeology and History Departments at Birzeit University in the West Bank and Bergen University in Norway; with major roles for both the Umm el-Jimal Project and its partner Open Hand Studios, 2014-2017, NORHED (Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development), funding apportionment to be determined this fall.

Note: The research is to enable graduate studies in Geography and Archaeology at Birzeit University. B. de Vries is a member of the senior collaborative staff: Umm el-Jimal will be one of the case studies, and Open Hand Studios (Paul Christians and Jeff DeKock) is to develop an “Urban Transformation” website on the model of

January 2013

Ambassador Stuart Jones visits to celebrate the completion of preservation fieldwork of House XVII-XVIII

Bert de Vries with Ambassador Stuart JonesOn January 21, 2013, US Ambassador Stuart Jones returned to Umm el-Jimal to celebrate the completion of preservation field work. The ambassador and a crowd of more than 50 people - staff from the US embassy, local community, Department of Antiquities, ACOR, the Jordan academic community, various Jordanian high officials, and personal friends from Amman – toured the completed Umm el-Jimal House XVII-XVIII.

The ambassador and a similar group toured the site in April 2012. Professor Bert de Vries, Umm el-Jimal Project Director, views these two tours as bookends to the project. Professor de Vries writes: “In making the exact same tour twice, we stood in a once rubble filled but now open courtyard; we saw a once tottering double window standing buttressed and stable; we passed through the beautiful House XVIII exit hall – the one with the double stone door – which in April was blocked to the ceiling; a stable too dangerous to enter was now toured under a repaired roof. Everywhere fine construction details, once hidden from view, were now exposed to display the cleverness of their builders.”

Read more and view photos from the ambassador’s visit at Professor de Vries’s Umm el-Jimal blog.House XVII-XVIII Project Staff with the Governor and Ambassador

February - June 2012

Preservation of House XVII-XVIII continues at Umm el-Jimal

The project to preserve House XVII-XVIII continues as a field work and publication season from March to the end of June.

From March 28 - May 1 and May 20 - June 24, I will be working in partnership with Abdul Qader al-Husan, director of the Mafraq Regional Office of the Department of Antiquities, and Muaffaq Hazza, local UJ Project archaeologist, to carry out the preservation plans prepared during the January Field School. In June the on-site work will conclude with a publication workshop attended by me, Muaffaq Hazza, Paul Christians and Jeff DeKock, both of Open Hand Studios.

The following seven images and texts feature the funding and support organizations, the progress of the work, and the plans for its completion from late March to the end of June.

Bert de Vries

house preservation project 1

house preservation project 2

January 2012 field school team

planning principles

structural analysis team

implementation of preservation plan

other Umm el-Jimal projects