The team of the Jebel Qurma Archaeological Landscape project working in the basalt range of Jebel Qurma and beyond is international, consisting of professional researchers and students of archaeology. Although we come from different universities and institutes, we all work together under the flag of Leiden University (The Netherlands) and the Department of Antiquities (Jordan).
Fieldwork usually takes place each year for 2.5 months, from early May until mid-July. The work is often difficult, due to the very rough terrain and the harsh climate, with temperatures easily rising up to 45 °C in the shadow, and dust and sand storms being very common. Till late at night we are busy writing up our daily reports and dealing with the finds of that day. However, there is no better life, say those who know…

Would you like to support us?

Would you like to support our fieldwork, and contribute to the fascinating archaeology of Jordan’s Black Desert? Please contact the project director, Prof. Dr. Peter Akkermans, at
Fieldwork in January 2022, near Wadi Al-Qattafi
Working on a site overlooking Wadi al-Qattafi, with table mounds in the distance
Director Peter Akkermans in a prehistoric dwelling
Fieldwork in the summer of 2023
January 2022, the first winter campaign. Wesam Esaid and Merel Brüning
Students from Leiden University with supervisor Keshia Akkermans, excavating a tomb in 2019
By excavating these tombs we are able to reconstruct their complex histories of use

Keshia Akkermans, excavating delicate finds
Wesam Esaid (left), who has been our representative for the Department of Antiquities for many years and is of invaluable help to the project. Right: Migchel Migchelsen

Documenting hundreds of rock drawings on top of a small volcano
Dr. Sarah Inskip (upright), our osteoarchaeologist, taking samples from a cist grave
Lunch in the field is all about finding the right ‘lounging rock’!
Migchel Migchelsen. Excavating a tower tomb means lots of rocks to move!
Merel Brüning, taking measurements
Photographing finds in our base camp Hamza
Our solar-powered base camp, thanks to the Jordanian Astronomical Society!
Monique Arntz, sieving the fill of a tomb
The family of our camp guard Abu Sultan, staying next door
Lunch with a view
Black Desert archaeologists, in their natural habitat
The guard of our camp, Abu Sultan (left) with his brother
The usual routine… a flat tyre