National Lecture Program

AIA Lecturer: Yorke M. Rowan

Affiliation: The Oriental Institute

Yorke M. Rowan is a Research Associate in the Archaeology of the Southern Levant with the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.  He holds his degrees from the University of Texas (Ph.D. and MA) and the University of Virginia  His most recent edited volume, Beyond Belief: The Archaeology of Religion and Ritual (2012) draws together theoretical and methodological studies concerning ancient religion and ritual.  As a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Jerusalem during 2013-14, Dr. Rowan is preparing a monograph on the survey and excavations of Marj Rabba.


The eastern panhandle of Jordan includes the Black Desert, a harsh, basalt-strewn region with a single asphalt road and few water sources. Few archaeological research projects operated in the region with the exception of pioneering investigations by Alison Betts and Svend Helms in the 1970s and 1980s. With the initiation of the Eastern Badia Archaeological Project in 2008, we realized that thousands of structures, previously unknown, undated, and of unknown function, clustered on the landscape. In this talk, Yorke Rowan discusses recent discoveries of tombs, petroglyphs, well-built houses, and vast chains of hunting traps across the landscape, all of which suggest the environment was quite different to what we see now.

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