Understanding Complex Urban Space and Development Through Geochemistry: The Case of Jerash in Jordan

The aim of the project is to create a new High-Definition method, combining Classical Archaeology and geochemical methodology. The project relies extensively on the collaboration with the ongoing excavations in Jerash, Jordan, which aim to excavate the Northwest Quarter of the city in order to undertake an archaeologically-based settlement examination to further the understanding of the development of this area, thus contributing insights more generally regarding the urban development of Jerash. This has to be done both in detail and in a diachronic perspective.

Jerash provides the ultimate backdrop for this kind of investigation. The investigations will take place in the Northwest Quarter where excavations have been undertaken since 2011. Several campaigns have yielded a large amount of finds, and architectural, geodetic and geophysical surveys have already been undertaken.

It is a complex study site where occupation continues from late Hellenistic to medieval times. The city grew immensely throughout the Roman period, but the Late Antique and Islamic periods are truly when the urban density, prosperity and settlements seemed to blossom. The Northwest Quarter was densely settled over a long period of time, and more than 300 walls have been excavated. The area stretches from the Artemision to the city walls and is the highest area within the walled city of Gerasa.

This PhD project will use optically stimulated luminescence for chronology purposes, as well as micromorphology and chemical analysis for studying the components in the soil.

PI: PhD student Kristine Thomsen