In 2012 a new series of excavations started at the site of Abu Sarbut, directed by Margreet Steiner, Noor Mulder-Hymans and Jeannette Boertien, and in cooperation with Groningen University. The site is located in the eastern Jordan Valley in Jordan. Earlier excavations (1988 - 92) were aimed at the Late Islamic (Mamluk) layers of the tell. The goal of the renewed excavations is to uncover the earlier Roman occupation layers.
In Jordan archaeological research into the Roman period has focused mainly on military and urban complexes. Small rural sites such as Abu Sarbut have not been researched in any systematic way. The renewed excavations of Tell Abu Sarbut will provide information of the Roman agricultural occupation of the Jordan Valley.
So far two seasons of excavations have been conducted in 2012 and 2014. Apart from a thick deposit of Early Islamic (Abbasid) floors and walls, the main finds came from the Early Roman period (1st centuries BC and AD). Excavated were mudbrick walls, floors with burnt roof debris and courtyards with bread ovens. The pottery repertoire is quite simple and consist of cooking pots, jars and jugs, and small bowls. Stone vessels testify to a close connection with the Jewish settlements west of the river Jordan. Some remains from the Late Roman period (2nd-4th centuries AD) were also uncovered: floors and a large bread oven.
In the spring of 2015 the next (and final) season of excavation will take place, in order to uncover more of the Early and Late Roman buildings. The GIA is involved in the publication of the pottery, animal bones and botanical material.
See for more information and the publications http://tellabusarbut.wordpress.com/ and our Facebook page: Tell Abu Sarbut - Jordan
Margreet Steiner is a Near Eastern archaeologist with a special interest the archaeology of the Southern Levant. Her research has focused on the archaeology of Jerusalem, stratigraphical analysis, Iron Age pottery, Islamic glass bracelets, field work and the management of archaeological projects.
For the past thirty years she has participated in or directed excavations in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories. For Oxford University Press she has recently co-edited the Handbook of the Archaeology of the Levant. Currently she is co-director of the renewed excavations of Tell Abu Sarbut, Jordan. See http://margreetsteiner.wordpress.com