Archaeological Fieldschool in Jordan

Laying Squares in Petra

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The Petra Garden and Pool Project 2018

Apply to Work on the 2018 Petra Garden and Pool Complex Excavation — An experience that will change your life!

Project Dates: June 5 - July 6 2018 (Subject to minor adjustments)

Check out our 2016 field season

Get a better idea of what archaeological work in Petra looks like! Also, feel free to check out our slideshow to get a feel for the full study abroad experience!

To apply please contact Dr. Jennifer Ramsay ( and submit an application through the Brockport Study Abroad Office (you can check out costs here too!) . Deadline for applications is Feb 15, 2018.


Jordan is a stable, moderate, pro-western Arab state with a rich cultural heritage. Its cultural showpiece is Petra, recently voted one of the “Seven Wonders of the Modern World”. This 2,000 year old city, capital of the Nabatean kingdom and later a major city within the Roman Empire, is famed for its magnificent rock-cut tomb facades, temples, and Byzantine churches.

Links about the safety of Jordan

9th Safest Country in the world:

Jordan is Spectacularly Safe and Friendly:

Is Jordan Safe?

Project Description

The Petra Garden and Pool Complex is located in the heart of Petra. The excavations currently focus on a large pool with a central pavilion flanking a monumental colonnaded garden. The complex is adjacent to the "Great Temple" complex, excavated by Professor Martha Joukowski (Brown University), which has been recently restored. During the 2018 season, excavations will focus on the monumental pool, pavilion and grotto area. During the field school students will learn excavation techniques and have evening lectures by the excavation staff and local specialists on a variety of topics related to the site and the region.


After arrival in Amman and transfer to Petra (about a three-hour drive south of Amman), students will join an orientation session to include an overview of the history of Jordan, the archaeology of Petra, and the culture of contemporary Jordan. Students will then receive more specialized training in Field Methods (six credits). In addition to recovering the architecture, stratigraphy, and artifacts of a Hellenistic Nabataean/Roman site, students will also be working in the dig house on artifacts, data entry, and photography, as well as techniques of environmental archaeology (sampling, retrieval, identification of plant remains, faunal remains, etc.), ceramic analysis and site survey. There is flexibility in the type of credits students may need or want that you can discuss with Dr. Ramsay (eg: internship, lab methods, independent study). Students will work in the field for four weeks (six days a week) alongside local Jordanian workers. One day each week (and two days for one weekend) students will be free to travel to other archaeological and historical sites in Jordan. There will also be an arranged trip to Wadi Rumm and Aqaba during the two day weekend mid-season.

Field Staff for the 2018 Fieldschool

  • Dr. Leigh-Ann Bedal (Penn State Behrend) – Site director
  • Dr. Jennifer Ramsay (The College at Brockport, SUNY) - Fieldschool director, Associate director and archaeobotanist for the excavations
  • Dr. Thad Wasklewicz (East Carolina University) -remote-sensing data capture, analysis, and visualization
  • John Rucker (Ph.D. Candidate, University of Missouri) - Supervisor
  • Fawwaz Ishaqat (Hashemite University) – Surveyor
  • Sarah Wenner(Ph.D. Candidate, University of Cincinnati) – Ceramicist & Supervisor
  • Carlos G. Santiago Marrero (MA, The university of Leiden) - Supervisor
  • Sarah Luther (BA, The College at Brockport, SUNY) - Supervisor
  • Dennis Paone Jr. (BA, The College at Brockport, SUNY) - Supervisor

Have a look at our 2013 Blog Posts at:

For more information email Dr. Ramsay (

Brockport students and Professors at the Treasury in Petra

Student Sifting

Why Study Abroad? Comments from the Field

The experience is integral, really. It becomes easy to lose your sense of “human in the world” when you are constantly subject to the circumstance of your home country: your job, your classes, your friends, your family; it becomes easy to become a one track mind, to remove yourself from your participation in a world in which we are all connected. And I mean connected less in the trippy, Zen sort of way but in the globalization sort of way. We should get to know those in the countries that we affect in one way or another. This process is more important for us, who, perhaps even reluctantly, live in a place of incalculable privilege. It becomes necessary for us to know how others live, that there are circumstances so different than ours that are possible. In this way we may learn to take the state of the world more seriously or to take our own lives less seriously to achieve a greater happiness, something that I learned from the Bedouin people I have met. The former does not lose its significance, however. Awareness is a powerful tool in the way one lives life and without a visit to the place one considers, awareness and knowledge is not truly possible. So, in short, yeah, study abroad; it will make you a better human. - Devin Pescara (Class of 2017)

Devin having tea

Study Abroad encourages students to move beyond the classroom setting and essentially put their knowledge to the test by applying it in the world, especially those who are going on trips that relate to their area of study. Also, you meet so many amazing people while traveling that you are connected with for the rest of your life because of this experience. I don’t think I have ever heard someone say that their time studying abroad wasn’t one of the most amazing experiences of their lives.
– Danielle Maerlender (Class of 2016)

Danielle and Tara

It’s probably cliché to say that this excavation was one of the best decisions/experiences of my life, but it’s true. I made more good memories in the space of the six weeks in Jordan, than I have in my entire year of college or high school career. Almost everything I can summon up brings a smile to my face.
-Michelle Heeman (Class of 2019)

Michelle hiking

If you would like to read from the students daily summaries and learn more about their experiences please check out thedocument below.

Students Daily Summaries from Petra, Jordan 2013

Last Updated 9/17/18

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