Khirbat Faris: Ethnography, land-use and environmental studies 2019

Project summary

CBRL is supporting the final stages of the Khirbat Faris Project aiming at completing the analysis and synthesis of the data collected during the fieldwork seasons from 1988 to 1994. The project documents land use at the settlement of Khirbat Faris between the 1st century and the 20th century AD.

Project details

Location: Jordan

Year(s): 2019

Project director(s): Alison McQuitty

Lead institutions and funding:

  • CBRL

Project description

A recent publication, Landscapes of the Islamic World (McPhillips and Wordsworth: 2016), has noted the importance of using ethnographic and environmental evidence in the interpretation of rural settlement as well as the more mainstream archaeological and historical analysis. The support of CBRL is allowing this goal to be realised by enabling the final analysis and synthesis of data collected during the fieldwork stage of the Khirbat Faris Project which ran in Southern Jordan from 1988 to 1994.

The Project covers the period from the Nabatean (1st century A.D.) to the late 20th century A.D. The stratigraphy, architecture and small-finds volume has been accepted for publication and this CBRL- supported work will comprise the second volume.

This material is being interpreted to produce a picture of the land-use related to the settlement at Khirbat Faris. Data comes from the excavated areas; from botanical survey and excavation in the fields surrounding the site; from analysis of aerial photos and satellite imagery and from extensive collection of first-person accounts of the relations between pastoralism and agriculture… between tribe and state. These first-person accounts lie at the centre of the ethnographic report which also records disappearing “ways-of-life”; local interpretations of 19th century history on the Karak Plateau and anthropological analysis of how a tribal society works.

Related projects

Khirbat Faris: Ethnography, land-use and environmental studies, 2020: more information here.

Project bibliography

McQuitty, Alison. 2020. Khirbat Faris: ethnography, land-use and environmental studies. Bulletin of the Council for British Research in the Levant 2018-2019, p 25.