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Gadara Region Project



The Gadara Region Project - Archaeology of a landscape

The ancient decapolis city of Gadara is situated in the uttermost northwest of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan adjacent to the modern village Umm Qais.  Its ruins have been excavated widely by German, Jordanian and Japanese archaeological teams.  Each year thousands of visitors from Jordan and further afar come to visit this place of historic interest which is mentioned in the New Testament.  They enjoy breathtaking views over the Tiberias Lake in the Northwest and the precipitous Wadi al-'Arab in the South.

The Gadara Region Project is exploring the lower section of the Wadi al-‛Arab.  This is a partnership project between the Biblical-Archaeological Institute Wuppertal (BAI) and the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology in the Holy Land (GPIA).

After the BAI started archaeological explorations in the region in 2001, the GPIA Institutes in Amman and Jerusalem have participated in the project since 2004 and 2006, respectively.  Our work ist supported by other scholars and scientific institutions. The whole project will go on over a period of about 20 years.

We aim to further understand the diverse civilisations which populated this stunningly beautiful landscape for more than 8,000 years of human history.  The wadi is of immense geopolitically interest as it served as a vital link between the Mediterranean and Transjordan.

The most significant site in the Wadi al-‛Arab is Tall Zira‛a (geographic coordinates: 211 940/225 180).  The tall measures approx. 200 m in diameter; its highest point is located at 17 m below sea level.

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