ECU professor leads, blogs about Jordan excavation

Photographs from the Petra North Ridge project show students at work on the excavation. A number of additional photographs are available on the blog at


East Carolina University archaeologist Dr. Megan Perry, associate professor of Anthropology, is co-directing the first of three scheduled excavations in Jordan. A blog of daily activities and photographs from the excavation, which began May 19, is available at

Dr. S. Thomas Parker, professor of history at NCSU, co-directs the excavation, which includes 10 professional archaeologists, 20 students and 20 Jordanian workers.

Teams are investigating 1st century tombs, domestic structures built against the northern city wall of Petra, and a domestic complex near the tombs. In a blog about the project, Parker said, “We hope that the tombs will yield evidence about the still mysterious Nabataeans, the Arabs who built the magnificent city of Petra, recently voted one of the “’Seven Wonders of the Modern World.’

“Both domestic complexes apparently post-date the tombs and may produce evidence about the history of the city after the Roman takeover of A.D. 106. Finally, the excavation of the city wall may settle the question of the date of Petra’s city wall,” he said.

In a May 28 blog posting, Perry reported findings of clear evidence that will help the researchers date the city wall.

Parker and Perry have extensive experience in archaeological projects in Jordan. Parker has worked in Jordan since 1975 and Perry since 1993. ECU and NCSU support the projects, completed under permit by the Jordanian Department of Antiquities.

The project is sponsored by the directors’ universities and works under permit by the Jordanian Department of Antiquities.

Three field seasons are envisioned in 2012, 2014, and 2016, with final publication to follow. The project will also focus on the conservation and presentation of this area as a cultural resource.