Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project
A JOINT SCIENTIFIC ENDEAVOR OF THE College of Archaeology, Trinity Southwest University AND THE Department of Antiquities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Welcome to the official website of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project (TeHEP). TeHEP is a joint scientific project between Trinity Southwest University's College of Archaeology & Biblical History (Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA) and the Department of Antiquities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Our website is designed to be enjoyed by all those interested in archaeology, whether casually or professionally.
The site of Tall el-Hammam is located in the southern Jordan River Valley, about 14 kilometers northeast of the Dead Sea. Surveys and excavations thus far have revealed a long occupational history at Tall el-Hammam, including the Chalcolithic Period, the Early, Intermediate, and Middle Bronze Ages, and Iron Age 2. Minor Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic occupations are also in evidence.
Architecturally, the major contributors to the enormity of the site—spreading approximately one square kilometer—are the cities of the Early Bronze Age (3500-2350 BCE), Intermediate Bronze Age (2350-2000 BCE), and Middle Bronze Age (2000-1550 BCE). The massive 6-meter-thick EBA city wall rings the lower and upper talls to an elliptical diameter of 500x750 meters. The same fortifications were refurbished and re-used during the IBA, and were later swallowed up by the construction of massive MB2 fortifications up to 50 meters thick, including the city wall, outer rampart/glacis with multiple (interior) stone stabilizer walls, and monumental gateway complex.
The MBA fortifications also include mudbrick and packed-earth ramparts rising above the lower city to a height of 20 to 30 meters, contributing to the 450x300-meter elongated oval footprint of the upper tall, and creating its 35-degree slope. The upper tall is topped by ruins from Iron Age 2abc, which are surrounded by a 3-meter-thick city wall, with a chambered gateway flanked by monumental towers.
By all comparisons, Tall el-Hammam must be considered the “Queen of the Southern Jordan Valley,” and her excavation will continue to shed important light on the history of the region for decades to come.
SEASON ACTIVITY REPORT, 2006
SEASON ACTIVITY REPORT, 2007
SEASON ACTIVITY REPORT, 2008
SEASON ACTIVITY REPORT, 2009
SEASON ACTIVITY REPORT, 2010
SEASON ACTIVITY REPORT, 2011
SEASON ACTIVITY REPORT, 2012
SEASON ACTIVITY REPORT, 2013
SEASON ACTIVITY REPORT, 2014
SEASON ACTIVITY REPORT, 2015
In order to keep up with what's happening at the Tall el-Hammam Excavation, you can access related papers, articles, and other publications as they become available. Simply click on the items below to view them in PDF format.
2007 paper by Steven Collins presented to the Annual Meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR)
2009 paper by Steven Collins presented to the Annual Meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR)
2009 journal article by Collins, Hamdan, and Byers in the Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan (ADAJ 53)
2011 journal article by S. Collins & H. Aljarrah in the Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan (ADAJ 55)
2011 journal article by C. Kobs, S. Collins, et al, in the Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan (ADAJ 55)
2011 journal article by K. Schath, S. Collins, et al, in the Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan (ADAJ 55)
The following articles involve research, views, and theories about how Tall el-Hammam fits into the history of the Jordan Valley and the southern Levant as a whole, and derive from a variety of sources. The viewpoints expressed in these articles are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of the College of Archaeology of Trinity Southwest University or the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. Simply click on the items below to view them in PDF format.
2002 article by S. Collins, "The Geography of the Cities of the Plain" (BRB II.1)
2002 article by S. Collins, "The Chronology of the Cities of the Plain" (BRB II.8)
2002 article by S. Collins, "The Architecture of Sodom" (BRB II.14)
2002 article by S. Collins, "Terms of Destruction for the Cities of the Plain" (BRB II.16)
2002 article by S. Collins, "Explorations on the Eastern Jordan Disk" (BRB II.18)
2005 article, "W.M Thomson on the Location of Sodom and Gomorrah" (BRB V.5)
2006 article by S. Collins, "Rethinking the Location of Zoar" (BRB VI.3)
2007 article by S. Collins, "Forty Salient Points on the Geography of the Cities of the Kikkar" (BRB VII.1)
2007 article by S. Collins, "...the Location of Sodom and Gomorrah...Think Again" (BRB VII.4)
2007 article by D. Graves and S. Stripling, "Locating Tall el-Hammam on the Madaba Map" (BRB VII.6)
2007 article by S. Collins, "A Response to B.G. Wood's Critique of Collins' N Sodom Theory" (BRB VII.7)
2009 article, "Canon Tristram Fires a Lethal Shot at the Southern Sodom Theory" (BRB IX.2)
2012 article by C. Billington, "Tall el-Hammam Is Not Sodom" (Artifax, Spring 2012)
2012 article by S. Collins, "Tall el-Hammam Is Sodom: Billington's Heshbon Identification Suffers from Numerous Fatal Flaws" (Artifax, Summer 2012)
2013 article by S. Collins, "Sodom and the Cities of the Plain" (Bible dictionary entry, TSU Press)
2013 article by S. Collins, "Where is Sodom? The Case for Tall el-Hammam" (Biblical Archaeology Review 39.2, Mar/Apr 2013)
2013 article by S. Collins, "Tall el-Hammam is Still Sodom: Critical Data-Sets Cast Serious Doubt on E.H. Merrill's Chronological Analysis" (BRB XIII.1)
2013 article by S. Collins, "The Geography of Sodom and Zoar: Reality Demolishes W. Schlegel's Attacks against a Northern Sodom" (BRB XIII.2)
2014 article by C. Olson, "Which Site Is Sodom? A Comparison of Bab edh-Dhra and Tall el-Hammam" (BRB XIV.1)