2019 Season Info

The directors of the Baluʿa Regional Archaeological Project (BRAP) want to extend a warm welcome to you as we plan for a six-week excavation season this June & July 2019 at one of the largest archaeological sites in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Ahlan w’ Sahlan — Welcome!

Thank you for your interest in joining the BRAP this coming June to excavate at Khirbat al-Baluʿa. We are excited to be back in the field and look forward to a fantastic season excavating amid the basalt stones of this breathtaking and important site. Below you should find more information to answer all of your questions about participation. Contact us as soon as possible to express interest and begin filling out your application forms. Security Forms are required by the Jordanian Department of Antiquities and must be submitted by all candidates by 1 March 2019.

Excavations in 2019 will be conducted as part of a large team effort. Questions should be submitted to mvincent@lasierra.edu. Final decisions on acceptance to the team will be made by April 12. Do not purchase flights until you have heard from us that you have been accepted onto the team.

Digging this summer will focus on the impressively intact Iron Age remains: a large and well-preserved Iron II domestic structure, the Iron II fortification system, and the monumental Qasr structure that dominates the highest point on the site and was founded at least as early as the Iron I period. Excavations will also begin in the Islamic village.

Arrival & Departure Info

While the 2019 expedition will last from Monday 24 June through Wednesday 31 July, the official excavation dates, these dates do not include arrival and set up nor closedown and departure. Given the distance of the excavation headquarters from Amman (2 hours), flights and transport to and from the site will be closely coordinated.

Official Arrival Date: Thursday, 20 June
Official Departure Date: Friday, 2 August

Because flights from North America take an extra day heading east, it will be necessary to pay attention to the actual arrival date and time of your flights into Queen Alia International Airport in Amman. All flights must arrive in Amman on June 20 in order to be transported to the dig site. Orientation will begin early the next day, so keep this in mind as you plan.
Many flights arrive in the middle of the night. This is normal! Arriving in the wee early hours of June 20 or 21 is acceptable.

Departing flights should not be arranged before late afternoon on August 2 in order to give us time to travel north from the dig site.

If your flights will land outside these official dates and times, you will need to make alternate plans for your accommodation in Amman (if outside dig season dates) and pay a $100 fee if the project arranges transport. You are welcome to stay longer in Jordan than the official dig dates on your own. While you will be responsible for your own accommodation outside the arrival and departure dates, we will be happy to assist you in making your plans, so do not hesitate to get in touch.

Half-Season Option A Dates: 20 June – 14 July
Half-Season Option B Dates: 7 July – 2 August
Half-season participants must take care to coordinate flights with the project to minimize disturbance to the excavation schedule for everyone. Half Season A: July 14 flights out should be set for a late evening time so you have plenty of time to get to Amman from Petra.
Half Season B: Flights should arrive on July 6 or in the early hours of July 7.

Forms, Costs, Deadlines

Several forms must be completed to secure participation with the project.
The Security Form must be submitted by March 1, even if you are not sure about your plans. Nothing is lost by submitting this form!
The Application Form and a $400 deposit must be submitted by April 1. Payments may be made online at this address; please make sure to specify that this is your deposit.
The other forms and complete payment must be submitted by May 1 (Assumption of Risk, Medical Form, Code of Conduct, Flights).

The participant’s fee includes accommodation, meals, and transport from Amman to and from the site for those arriving on the official dates. Student tuition fees also include tuition, travel insurance, visa, and all weekend tours. Accommodation will be in a hotel with double and triple rooms on the Karak Highway, located about 40 minutes from the site.

  • Cost to STUDENTS includes tuition: $3,532 + Airfare (for 4 units) or $7,064 which includes Airfare (for 8 units). There are no fees beyond tuition for students registering for 8 units.
  • Cost to NON-STUDENTS Full Season: $2,500 (does not include airfare)
  • Cost to NON-STUDENTS Half Season: $1,500 (does not include airfare)

Multiple fellowships/scholarships are available for participating in an excavation from several organizations. Many have deadlines in early winter for summer 2019, so please check this soon if you are interested in applying for these fellowships:
~American Schools of Oriental Research – students & non students may apply here (Due Feb 1).
~American Center for Oriental Research – students may apply here (Due Feb 1).
~American Institute of Archaeology – first-time, field-school students may apply here (Due Mar 1).
~Biblical Archaeology Society – students & non students may apply here (Due Mar 14).

Academic Credit Opportunities

Academic credit will be offered for the following courses through La Sierra University (maximum of 8 units):

  • ARCH/RELB 494/594 Fieldwork in Ancient Near Eastern/Middle Eastern Archaeology (1-8)
  • ARCH/ANTH 216 Great Discoveries in Archaeology (4)
  • ARCH/RELB 446 New Testament Archaeology (4)
  • ARCH/RELB 546 Archaeology of the New Testament World (4) [Graduate-level course]
  • Topics in Archaeology: Household Archaeology (4) [Undergraduate & Graduate level course]

Please email mvincent@lasierra.edu for a preview of the course syllabi.

Participation Requirements

Given the remote location and physically demanding nature of archaeological excavation at Baluʿa, all participants should be mature, college-age or older, and in excellent health. It is ideal for all participants to remain for the duration of the project, but half season options are available. Both students and non-students are welcome to apply, though students applying for credit and excavators with previous experience will be given priority in acceptance. All participants, regardless of status, will be expected to engage in active excavation at the site as part of the field team, as well as fulfill their share of camp duties, such as pottery washing. An enthusiastic spirit of cooperation and hard work will guarantee a successful outcome for everyone! Qualified applicants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. However, we cannot process applications until the deposit is received (see Costs above).


All participants must be in possession of a valid passport issued by their respective government, which will not expire within a period of six months of your departure from Jordan.

The Jordanian visa costs 40 JD (approximately 56 USD) and can be obtained easily and quickly for American and Canandian citizens at the Amman airport. Jordanian currency can be acquired at the airport either through exchange or an ATM machine before entering the visa lines, since Customs officers will only accept Jordanian Dinars for the visa fee (though in 2017 it was possible to purchase the visa using a credit card at the desk).

This season, any participants planning to enter the Petra Touristic Site during the mid-season trip to Petra may purchase the Jordan Explorer Pass online BEFORE leaving for Jordan. This pass includes the Jordanian visa (but only if purchased before entering Jordan) and 2 days in Petra for only 75 JD, a savings of 20 JD.
STUDENTS: Coordinate with the project directors to obtain this pass or purchase the pass directly and hand in a receipt for reimbursement. Otherwise the student will be responsible for the 20 JD difference of purchasing the visa and Petra entrance fee separately.

All participants must be covered by travel/medical insurance.
Insurance for Students: Those registered for academic credit do not need to purchase additional travel insurance, as they will be covered by La Sierra University’s travel insurance plan. Proof of regular health insurance coverage will be required for participation.
Insurance for Non-Students: Those not registered for academic credit must purchase their own travel insurance while in Jordan. Please look over plans offered in your country/state carefully and purchase a plan that covers medical emergencies. While your regular health insurance may cover some treatment costs, a good travel insurance will cover indirect costs related to a medical emergency, such as rescheduling flights, etc. The Balua Regional Archaeological Project and La Sierra University are not responsible for these costs. Proof of travel and regular health insurance will be required for participation.

No vaccinations are required for travel in Jordan. However, a valid tetanus shot within the past three years is essential. We strongly advise you to be protected by the following inoculations: Cholera (good for six months) and Typhoid and Diphtheria (good for ca. three years). Some physicians also recommend gamma globulin shots (good for four to six months) as a protection against hepatitis. For any or all of the above, follow the advice of your physician and check advisories from the Centers for Disease Control.

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