Walking Through Jordan - Essays in Honor of Burton MacDonald - Michael Neeley

Walking Through Jordan - Essays in Honor of Burton MacDonald - Michael Neeley

Nelson Glueck’s “Madeba line” and the Tall Madaba Archaeological Project

Walking Through Jordan - Essays in Honor of Burton MacDonald - Michael Neeley

Jonathan Ferguson [+-]
University of Toronto
Jonathan Ferguson holds degrees in Classical Archaeology (BA, Wilfrid Laurier University), Classics (MA, McMaster University) and Syro-Palestinian Archaeology (MA, University of Toronto). He is currently completing his dissertation, Madaba Between Judaea and Nabataea, on the late Hellenistic and early Roman phases at Madaba in Jordan with the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto. He also serves as a lecturer at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto and works as a teacher at the Royal Ontario Museum. He is affiliated with the University of Toronto’s Tall Madaba Archaeological Project and Wilfrid Laurier University’s Wadi ath-Thamad Project. His main research interests include Classical pottery, Roman frontiers and landscape archaeology.

Description

In his survey of Transjordan, Nelson Glueck noted that the fine wares so characteristic of the Nabataean kingdom were generally absent from the territories north and west of Madaba, and he later referred to this ceramic watershed as the “Madaba line.” This paper demonstrates that Glueck’s “Madaba line” reflects a real gradient in the frequency of Nabataean fine wares, which generally follows the kingdom’s historical border in the first centuries BC and AD. This distribution can be visualized on a regional level by using GIS software to plot Thiessen polygons around sites recorded as Hellenistic or Nabataean in the Jordan Antiquities Database and Information System. Moreover, excavations on Madaba’s western acropolis have helped to demonstrate the Nabataean cultural presence there. While the common wares from Madaba followed the same developments seen in Judaea and the Peraea, the fine wares reflected the fashions current in Petra. Similar assemblages have been found at the contemporary Nabataean site of Dhiban to the south, but the fine wares from Hesban to the north and Machaerus to the west (both in the Judaean Peraea) reflect Cisjordanian ceramic traditions.

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Citation

Ferguson, Jonathan. Nelson Glueck’s “Madeba line” and the Tall Madaba Archaeological Project. Walking Through Jordan - Essays in Honor of Burton MacDonald. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 79-95 Nov 2017. ISBN 9781781792834. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=28921. Date accessed: 16 Dec 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.28921. Nov 2017

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