How To

Living Tradition and Memories

Today Umm el-Jimal's citizens are rooted in their present community and the past. While the site was not permanently reoccupied until the 20th-century and Umm el-Jimal has developed into a modern town over the past few decades, many residents still remember growing up among the ruins and swimming in the ancient Roman reservoir. This tradition continues to shape life in the town and region.

What do ancient ruins mean to modern people? How can communities interact meaningfully with archaeological sites? Since its inception the Umm el-Jimal Project has explored these and related questions in conversation with Umm el-Jimal’s local residents. The results are fascinating, and have created new insights on cultural conservation. Because the town’s modern history is deeply connected to the ruins, living memory is a crucial part of understanding Umm el-Jimal.

The project's archive of oral histories preserves and celebrates the memories and deep connections to the ruins that local people continue to create. While dozens of interviews have already been filmed, they are ongoing and more will continue to be added over time. The above video clips are representative samples taken from several of the full-length interviews already completed.


The videos on this page are cross-platform compatible and should work on most media devices. To view them, however, you need to have enough Internet bandwidth and Javascript enabled on your device. (Don't worry, this is the default setting for most users.) For more information about the technology underlying this gallery, required computer plugins, and troubleshooting see the Help page.

Moorise over a second story doorway

Other Video Content

Explore more of the site's videos in Short Films, which covers Umm el-Jimal's ancient history. Or, see Hauran Culture for clips about aspects of daily life such as cooking and playing music.