Summary Descriptions of Archaeological Sites from the Survey at Tall al-'Umayri, Jordan


Gary L. Christopherson, Robert G. Boling, Jon A. Cole, David C. Hopkins, Gerald L. Mattingly, Douglas W. Schnurrenberger, & Randall W. Younker


The Madaba Plains Project has been involved in the archaeology of Jordan since 1968, with excavations and regional surveys at Tall Hesban, Tall al-'Umayri, and Tall Jalul. The 'Umayri archaeological survey was conducted over four field seasons, between 1984 and 1992, within a five kilometer radius around Tall al-'Umayri (Palestine Grid coordinates: 234200E, 142000N), documenting 133 sites ranging in age from Paleolithic to Late Islamic. Most sites in the region were small constellations of agricultural features, although larger sites, such as Tall Jawa, were also found. Directing the archaeological survey were Robert G. Boling in 1984, Randall W. Younker in 1987, and Gary L. Christopherson in 1989 and 1992. Preliminary reports of the survey data are available elsewhere (Boling, 1989; Christopherson, 1991; Christopherson, forthcoming 1997; Cole, 1989a; Cole, 1989b; LaBianca, 1989; LaBianca, 1991; Younker, 1989; Younker, 1991a; Younker, 1991b) but nowhere does the entire catalog appear in a single work. The goal of this web publication is to provide summaries of the complete catalog of sites recorded by the 'Umayri survey. Detailed discussion of the sites and features will be available in a forthcoming volume on the survey.

Data History

Data in these site summaries come from the survey's digital database which was developed over the course of three seasons. The evolution of this system meant that there were some differences in the data collected from season to season. To remove any inconsistencies between seasons, all sites recorded during the first two seasons were revisited in 1989 and 1992 and recorded using the final data collection and recording system (Christopherson & Herr, 1992). This summary reflects the 1989 and 1992 data wherever possible. In those instances where data were not available from the 1989/92 seasons, data from the 1984/87 seasons were substituted.

Each site summary contains the following data:

Site Number: Although some numbers were unused or dropped, site numbers from the 'Umayri survey are generally consecutive.

Palestine Grid Coordinates: These are listed to six digits and represent meters from the grid's point of origin.

Description: This is a brief description of the site and its features.

Function: This was the investigator's best judgment of what the site was. Any idea, no matter how crazy, was acceptable. (Christopherson & Herr, 1992)

Food System: Like the suggested function of the site, this was the investigator's best judgment, of how the site fit into the food system of the area. Any idea, no matter how crazy, was acceptable. (Christopherson & Herr, 1992)

Features: This is a list of the features recorded at each site. Features for each site recorded by the 'Umayri survey were numbered consecutively and appended to the site number. For example, the four features recorded at Site 1 would be referred to as 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4, and the 2 features from Site 3 as 3.1 and 3.2. The list in the summary is in the same order as the recording sheets for the features at the site. That is, the first feature in the list was also the first feature recorded at the site, the second was the second feature, and so on.

Pottery Count: This is the gross pottery count for the site and is presented as diagnostics/total.

Pottery Reading: This is the field reading of the pottery from the site.

It should be noted that because this data was dumped directly from the database, i.e. without editing, the different styles and occasional mood-swings of the various investigators/authors is apparent. This is especially true in the Description, Function, and Food System sections.


Accessing the site summaries involves navigational techniques common to web publications In order to speed transmission of the data, the summaries were split into three documents. The first contains summaries of sites 0 - 51, the second contains sites 51 - 100, and the third contains sites 101 - 140. Navigation to summaries for particular sites can be accomplished in three different ways: selecting and scrolling through the three summary documents, using the mouse to click on site numbers linked to the descriptions, and clicking on the sites found on the map of the survey region. If your browser supports frames, you may navigate the components of this paper in the box on the left. If your browser does not support frames, use the buttons at the bottom of each page for navigation.

Introduction, Sites 0-50, Sites 51-100, Sites 101-140, References, Authors, Site Numbers, Site Map