The Living Museum of Umm Qais

The Living Museum of Umm Qais

Friday 21st July, 2019

Earlier this week, CBRL’s Director in Amman, Dr Carol Palmer, participated in the first workshop of the AHRC funded “the Living Museum of Umm Qais” project. Two hours north of Amman, the site of Umm Qais is of unique significance to archaeologist and historians as it represents Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman influence in the remains of theatres, baths, vaulted shops, and tombs. The site is under threat from natural disasters and human-made dangers as expanding communities view the site as remains of a foreign people rather than part of their own ancestral heritage.  

CBRL is thrilled to be partnering on this project that is part of the AHRC’s Newton-Khalidi fund. Established to strengthen the collaborative research partnerships between the UK and Jordan, the Newton-Khalidi fund sets out to tackle global challenges to make a real difference to the lives of people living in Jordan.  


   (c) Dr Gehan Selim

The project is led by Dr Gehan Selim (University of Leeds) in the UK and Dr Monther Jamhawi (Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST)) in Jordan. Other members of the team and their participating organisations are Dr He Wang (University of Leeds), Prof. Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem (Nottingham Trent University), Prof. Robin Conningham (Durham University), Dr Shatha Abu Khafajah (Hashemite University), Samia Khouri (Department of Antiquities, Jordan), Dr Shouib Nouh Ma’bdeh (JUST, Jordan), and Dr Carol Palmer (CBRL Amman).  

The site of Umm Qais will be documented and analysed using an approach that combines architecture, urban planning and memory studies. Digital and virtual LiDAR technologies, state-of-the-art point-cloud laser scanning and virtual modelling will be used to expose and accurately record the multi-layered structures of the site. 

   (c) Dr Gehan Selim

Thanks to collaborative long-term support from UK based Hi-Tec Industry, virtual reality laboratories, and research institutions the project will help to shift Jordan’s research landscape towards applied and practice-led research.  

For the people of Jordan, the project aims to help bridge the gap between community and heritage by creating a collection publications, exhibitions, and digitally reconstructed tours of the site. It’s hoped that the local community will benefit from the increase of tourists and associated socio-economic growth.   

We look forward to bringing you more news of this exciting project as it progresses… 

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