Digging at Pella (it’s the company you keep)

Perhaps the most exciting thing about being on a dig at Pella is the company you keep.  All the archaeologists are passionate and very knowledgeable about their areas of expertise, whether its Roman glass say or Bronze Age pottery or Hellenic mosaics.  They come from around Australia, some utterly experienced after years of teaching and research, others just starting off.  It’s a pleasure to be part of such compelling questioning and discussions.  And evening talks around the dining table are a fascinating way of hearing about finds, research interests, stories and so on.

Pella is placed at an interesting place geographically in the world.   Northern Jordan is close to Syria, Lebanon, Israel and not too far from Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.  We’re taken on trips to Crusader castles and old Roman cities, one of which overlooks the Golan Heights/ Jawlan.  The glories of Petra are only a day away.

Nearby is the site settled by our early human ancestors as they walked north out of Africa.  There is evidence of substantial buildings from the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.  Greeks and Romans constructed public buildings.  There was later Muslim settlement including a mosque.  The dig house is an Ottoman era farm house if I remember correctly. Working with fellow volunteers is fun as we navigate dig rules and practices and I think its fair to say a sense of humour is required.  There’s also the feeling that we’re contributing in a small way to our host country, Jordan positioned as it is in the heart of the Middle East.

To learn more about the Pella project, or to become a volunteer, please visit our Pella project page

If you would like to hear more about some of the amazing archaeological discoveries from Pella, please listen to our podcast. You can access all episodes here


Near Eastern Archaeological Foundation
Level 4, CCANESA Madsen F09, University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia
+61 2 9351 4151 neaf.archaeology@sydney.edu.au