Tell Abu Sarbut

Renewed Excavations at Tell Abu Sarbut

In 2012 a new series of excavations started at the site of Abu Sarbut, directed by Margreet Steiner, Noor Mulder-Hymans and Jeannette Boertien, and in cooperation with Groningen University. The site is located in the eastern Jordan Valley in Jordan. Earlier excavations (1988 – 92) were aimed at the Late Islamic (Mamluk) layers of the tell. The aim of the renewed excavations is to uncover the earlier Roman occupation layers.

Archaeological research into the Romans period in Jordan has focused on military and urban complexes. Small rural sites such as Abu Sarbut have not been researched in any systematic way. The renewed excavations of Tell Abu Sarbut will provide information of the Roman agricultural occupation of the Jordan Valley.

So far three seasons of excavations have been conducted in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Apart from a thick deposit of Early Islamic (Abbasid) floors and walls, the main finds came from the Early Roman period (1st centuries BC and AD). Excavated were mudbrick walls, floors with burnt roof debris and courtyards with bread ovens. The pottery repertoire is quite simple and consist of cooking pots, jars and jugs, and small bowls. Stone vessels testify to a connection with the Jewish settlements west of the river Jordan.

See for more information and publications http://tellabusarbut.wordpress.com/ and our Facebook page: Tell Abu Sarbut – Jordan

The most recent publication:
Margreet L. Steiner, Noor Mulder-Hymans and Jeannette Boertien, “Een joods huishouden in Perea? De resultaten van de eerste opgravingscampagne op Tell Abu Sarbut in 2012.” Tijdschrift voor Mediterrane Archeologie 50, 38 – 44

Earlier excavations

From 1988-1992 I co-directed excavations at the same site focussing on the Mamluk occupation layers.

A final report was published in 2008:
Margreet L. Steiner and Eveline J. van der Steen (eds), Sacred and Sweet; Studies on the Material Culture of Tell Deir `Alla and Tell Abu Sarbut. Ancient Near Eastern Studies Supplement Series 24, Uitgeverij Peeters, Leuven.

Publications on the 1988-1992 excavations of Tell Abu Sarbut:

Boulogne, St. K., 2008, Les bijoux au Bilâd al-Shâm des Ayyoubides aux Ottomans: le cas des bracelets de verre coloré, étude comparative de matériel archéologique.(unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Sorbonne, Paris).

De Haas, H., H.E. LaGro and M.L. Steiner, 1989, “First Season of Excavations at Tell Abu Sarbut, 1988; A preliminary Report.” ADAJ XXXIII: 323-326.

De Haas, H., H.E. Lagro and M.L. Steiner, 1992, “Second and Third Seasons of Excavations at Tell Abu Sarbut, Jordan Valley, (Preliminary Report).” ADAJ XXXVI: 333-343.

Grootveld, E., 2008, “Archaeo-botanical Report of the Excavations of Tell Abu Sarbut.” In: Steiner, Margreet L. and Eveline J. van der Steen (eds.), 2008, Sacred and Sweet; Studies in the Material Culture of Tell Deir `Alla and Tell Abu Sarbut. Peeters, Leuven: 197-210.

LaGro, H.E., 2001, An Insight into Ayyubid-Mamluk Pottery. Description and Analysis of a Corpus of Medieval Pottery from the Cane Sugar Production and Village Occupation at Tell Abu Sarbut in Jordant. (Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Leiden).

LaGro, H.E. 2009. “Ayyubid –Mamluk Sugar Pottery from Tell Abu Sarbut, Jordan.” Leiden Journal of Pottery Studies, Vol. 25: 63-102.

LaGro, H. E. and H. de Haas, 1989/90; 1991/92, “Sugar Pots: a preliminary study of technological aspects of a class of medieval, industrial pottery from Tell Abu Sarbut, Jordan.” Newsletter of the Department of Pottery Technology, Leiden, Vol. 7/8: 7-20; 9/10: 55-69.

Mulder-Hijmans, N., 2008, “The Bread Ovens of Tell Abu Sarbut”. In: Steiner, Margreet L. and Eveline J. van der Steen (eds.), 2008, Sacred and Sweet; Studies in the Material Culture of Tell Deir `Alla and Tell Abu Sarbut. Peeters, Leuven: 211- 230.

Steiner, Margreet L., 1995, “The Glass Bracelets of Tell Abu Sarbut.” In: Studies on the History and Archaeology of Jordan, Vol. V: 537-540.

Steiner, Margreet L., 1997/98, “The Excavation at Tell Abu Sarbut, a Mamluk Village in the Jordan Valley.” In: ARAM 9-10: 145-51.

Steiner, Margreet L., 2008, “Tell Abu Sarbut: The Occupation of a Rural Site in the Ayyubid / Mamluk Periods.” In: Steiner, Margreet L. and Eveline J. van der Steen (eds.), 2008, Sacred and Sweet; Studies in the Material Culture of Tell Deir `Alla and Tell Abu Sarbut. Peeters, Leuven: 157-196.

Steiner, M.L., 2008, “An Analysis of the Islamic Glass Bracelets found at Tell Abu Sarbut.” In: Steiner, Margreet L. and Eveline J. van der Steen (eds.), 2008, Sacred and Sweet; Studies in the Material Culture of Tell Deir `Alla and Tell Abu Sarbut. Peeters, Leuven: 231-240.

Steiner, Margreet L. and Eveline J. van der Steen (eds.), 2008, Sacred and Sweet; Studies in the Material Culture of Tell Deir `Alla and Tell Abu Sarbut. Peeters, Leuven.

Van Es, L., 1995, “Faunal Remains from Tell Abu Sarbut, a preliminary report.” In: H.Buitenhuis & H.-P. Uerpmann, Archaeozoology of the Near East, Vol. II. Leiden: 88-96.

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