The Baluʿa Regional Archaeological Project (BRAP) officially began in 2017 with excavations at Khirbat al-Baluʿa under the current directors, Drs. Kent Bramlett, Monique Vincent, and Friedbert Ninow. The project is sponsored by La Sierra University and Theologische Hochschule Friedensau.
Khirbat al-Baluʿa is a multi-period site in central Jordan, north of Karak stretching over nearly 25 hectares. Baluʿa is located next to the Wadi Baluʿa, which is a tertiary tributary to the Wadi Mujib. In this location, Baluʿa was able to control the major north-south road and guard access from the north to the Karak Plateau over the millennia.
The BRAP has renewed excavations at this important site, identifying three main areas of excavation in a pilot season in 2017. GPS survey and test excavations in 2010 and 2012 established a preliminary map of the visible remains at the site. The most extensive period of occupation at Baluʿa dates to the Iron II period (1000–550 B.C.), when the city expanded to include a large, walled lower settlement. The Iron II settlement is impressive, with building walls preserved to over 6 feet in height and doorways with stone lintels still intact. The site is located in what is traditionally known as the Moabite region of Jordan. Other periods represented at the site include a Middle Islamic village and a Nabatean sacred structure, as well as Bronze Age and Hellenistic occupations.
Dr. Kent V. Bramlett, Co-Director
Associate Professor of Archaeology and History of Antiquity, La Sierra University
Curator and Associate Director, Center for Near Eastern Archaeology
Dr. Monique D. Vincent, Co-Director
Assistant Professor of History, Walla Walla University
Publications Manager, Center for Near Eastern Archaeology, La Sierra University
Dr. Friedbert Ninow, Co-Director
Dean, HMS Richards Divinity School, La Sierra University
Dawn Acevedo, Area Supervisor
Betty Adams, Lab Manager
Geoffrey Hedges-Knyrim, Archaeobotanist
Dr. Ian W. N. Jones, Middle Islamic Research Supervisor
Dr. Susan Penacho, Geospatial Manager
Dr. Adam Schneider, Paleoenvironment Research Supervisor
Dr. Stephanie Selover, Field Director
Dr. Craig Tyson, Area Supervisor & Historian
Matt Vincent, OpenDig
Carolyn Waldron, Administration