Main image: Balloon photography.

Project Surveys

Archaeological surveys have been integral to the Umm el-Jimal Project, which began in 1972 with a comprehensive survey of the late antique town's surviving structures combining on the ground work with an aerial survey by the Aero Precisa Company. Indeed, this work itself revised and added to H. C. Butler's original Princeton Expedition surveys of the early 20th century.

Designated Research Areas

Archaeological surveys conducted at Umm el-Jimal have followed the area–square convention implemented during the project's excavations.

Area M: Squares M.1–M.4, 1981

Demographic survey exploring the Via Nova near Ba'ij; areas around Wadi al-Lis; scattered Nabataean, Safaitic, and Semitic inscriptions; and the late antique town.

Area R: 1984, 1998

Comprehensive pottery survey, later followed by a transect survey of a 550 square meter area in the Roman village.

Area S: Squares S.1–S.84, 1984

Regional survey extending the 1981 survey work (Area M) to the region around the late antique town.

Topical Studies

The project also has included a number of purpose-driven surveys around Umm el-Jimal and its vicinity.

Architectural Fragments Study: 1994

A survey of surviving artistic fragments inside the late antique town.

Balloon Photography: 1992–93

Aerial photographic survey resulting in composite images of late antique town, Roman village, and surrounding region. Work was completed by specialists J. Wilson Myers and E. Meyers.

Inscriptions Study: 1994

A comprehensive survey of inscriptions inside the late antique town and its surrounds.

Religion and Society Project: 1998

Investigation of religious edifices among the standing remains of the Umm el-Jimal town site. Related work included excavations at House 49's so-called Nabataean Temple (Area A) and the Numerianos Church (Area E).

Regional Ceramics: 2015

Surface survey of ceramics corpus at several significant contemporary sites around Umm el-Jimal: Deir al-Kahf to the far east, Khirbat es-Samra to the southwest, and Umm es-Surab to the northwest.

Cultural and
Historical Research

Over the years archaeological research at Umm el-Jimal has been supplemented with a variety of social, cultural, and historical surveys designed to better understand the site's ancient and modern heritage—and how they intertwine. In particular, recent field seasons (2009 to present) have emphasized the modern community's links to the past. Much of the results of this work are publicly available in this site's Community and Museum sections.

Balloon survey.

Data Integration

A longterm goal of the project is to adapt its excavation and survey Database into a comprehensive GIS (geographic information system).