Umm el-Jimal is both a modern town and archaeological site of unknown name, located about 70km northeast of Amman and just south of the Syrian border. In ancient times the site was occupied from roughly the 1st to 8th centuries AD. After its decline Umm el-Jimal’s dark basalt architecture lay silent until Syrian Druze and then others reoccupied it at the start of the 20th century. Umm el-Jimal was a frontier town in the desert, likely first inhabited by Nabataean traders caravanning between Petra and Damascus. With the arrival of Rome in the second century AD the village eventually became part of the Limes Arabicus—the line of garrisoned forts that protected Roman Arabia. Even so Umm el-Jimal’s inhabitants existed in relative autonomy, and by the 5th and 6th centuries it peaked as a prosperous Byzantine town of perhaps five thousand souls. Over the following centuries Umm el-Jimal’s residents remodeled and reused its stone structures, until its probable decline and gradual abandonment in the late 8th century...
Using this SiteWhile the project web site continues to evolve, information is organized according to the following scheme and is accessible through the large buttons at the top of every page:
OverviewThis introduction, director's welcome, news, and information geared to media outlets.
FieldworkSummaries of excavations and surveys by types of evidence such as architecture, inscriptions, ceramics, and bones.
ArchiveA developing open catalogue of the field data created by the project since its beginning in 1972, including publications, GIS and 3D modeling, images, and drawings.
FindingsTimeline and brief overviews of academic interpretation by topic, for example people and politics, religion and society, environment, and site conservation.
CommunityUmm el-Jimal's modern culture, oral history archive, plans for a community-operated heritage center, and restoring the site's ancient water system.
MuseumAn online museum featuring a virtual-reality site tour, short films, artifact highlights, Arabic-English educational curriculum, UNESCO updates, and tourism information.
Contacting the project, volunteer opportunities, acknowledgements, and our partners and supporters.