The Jebel Qurma Archaeological Landscape Project
Jordan’s North-Eastern desert, also called ‘The Black Desert’, is part of a huge volcanic field, the Harrat al-Sham. This volcanic field comprises a low but rugged basalt massif, which extends from Syria through Jordan into Saudi Arabia. It consists of a series of lava flows, numerous small cone-shaped volcanoes, extensional faults and large fissure eruptions.
The lava deposits weathered in the extreme temperatures of the desert (hot days and cold nights), cracking up and breaking apart into ever smaller rock masses, ultimately resulting in rocky plateaus covered with basalt boulders and extensive gravel plains. Travel in this area is difficult, and most archaeological sites can be reached only on foot. Summers are scorching hot, winters can be bitterly cold, and there are no permanent sources of water. 
Jebel Qurma, Jibal Rijlat Suleiman, Wadi Rajil and Wadi al-Qattafi: the research region is barren and unforgiving, yet extremely beautiful. Moreover, the area is astonishingly rich in archaeological remains from many different periods.
The Jebel Qurma region
Table mounds
Basalt rocks, so characteristic of the Black Desert, are the result of weathered lava flows
After a few years of drought, torrential rains flooded the wadi’s in 2017
Wadi Dahek, here the weathered sea floor is visible that underlies all of the Black Desert
Fossil hunting at Wadi Dahek, the ‘white desert’, close to the Saudi border
Tombs are often found on top of these basalt-capped mounds
The Jebel Qurma region, early in the morning
Wadi Rajil is has turned into a river after rain has fallen
Wadi Rajil after spring rains
A mud flat, after rainfall

Large Qa’a (mud flat) in summer, completely dried out

Work starts at sunrise
Bedouin tent
Sand storms approaching
Jebel Qurma on a cloudy day
Dust storm approaching
Basalt-capped mounds and gravel plains

A small volcano
A camel herd
Sheep are everywhere
Qa’a (mud flat) al Teyarat in spring, after rain has fallen