Villages on the Edge: Whither the Rural Heritage of Jordan?

16 October, 2017 - 19:00 - 21:00
Villages on the Edge: Whither the Rural Heritage of Jordan?

Public lecture in English

Joint Ifpo/CBRL Insights Series ‘Perspectives on the Modern and Contemporary Arab World’

القرى على الحافة: التراث الريفي في الأردن

المحاضرة باللغة الإنجليزية


Dr. Carol Palmer (Archaeologist/Anthropologist, CBRL)


While Jordan is strongly identified with its rich Bedouin traditions, the heritage of the fellaheen, the people of the fertile arable areas, tends to be focussed upon much less. Within three to four generations, agriculture has dramatically receded as a daily way of life. Moreover, Jordan’s fertile agricultural areas have witnessed rapid urbanization with people moving to the city and adopting city ways. This lecture explores Jordan’s historical position on the boundary between the ‘desert and the sown’, continuity between settled and mobile modes of life, and the material remains and routine practices of villagers. It takes as a particular case study the village of Al-Ma’tan in the Tafila governorate and considers how this recent heritage can best be preserved.

About the speaker

Carol Palmer is director of the British Institute in Amman, the Council for British Research in the Levant’s research centre in Jordan. She originally trained in environmental archaeology as an archaeobotanist, but for most of her career has been fascinated by the rural Middle East. Her PhD focussed on traditional agriculture in northern Jordan, with subsequent studies on Bedouin in Wadi Faynan and rural areas of the south, most recently in the Tafila area as part of the INEA (Identifying activity areas in Neolithic sites through ethnographic analysis of phytoliths and geochemical residues) project with Bournemouth University. Her particular expertise is in ethnobotany, the anthropology of food and Jordan’s people past and present.

Date and Time

16 October 2017, 6 pm


CBRL, British Institute in Amman 102 Uhod Street, Tla' al- Alili