Friday, 11 November 2016

Jordan Trip, Day 1 (Oct 28)

The team reunited after six months. Our new stop was Jordan.  We kicked off our first day in Amman with an informal yet stimulating lecture by Doris Behrens Abouseif of SOAS. In her talk, examining a set of key Mamluk monuments from Cairo, she brought in new ideas to look at the monuments of the Gothic Europe and Norman Sicily. In this lecture, Doris Abouseif introduced to us the alternative ways to look at the Mamluk architectural and decorative idiom.

                                             We are impatient for Doris' lecture!

After the lecture, we moved ahead to discover the scholarly scene in Amman. Our first stop was the British Institute in Amman (BIA). There, we were greeted by Dr. Carol Palmer, Director of the Institute who kindly gave us an informative tour about the history and the current projects of the BIA.  She also kindly guided us through the library and research collections. Keeping up with the tradition of the BIA, at the end of our trip, we had a group photo with Dr. Palmer.

                                                 Dr. Palmer is sharing the history of the BIA

                                              A group photograph on the stairs of the BIA

Seeing one center was not enough for us! In a country like Jordan, where international institutes and scholars collaborating with the local specialists, our introduction to the academic scene in the city would not be complete without a trip to the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR). This time our host was Dr. Barbara Porter, who gave a thorough tour of the center. There, we had a chance to learn about the history and the legacy of this center, as well as meeting with three of the current fellows. Among others we had the privilege to see the legendary Petra Papyri dating back to the 6th century AD. We were very much impressed by their state of preservation. These scrolls papyri pieces were preserved by a team of archaeologists who have already published four volumes (with two more in progress) on the textual analysis of the papyri.

                                          Dr Porter guiding us through the ACOR’s library

                                  Introducing ourselves with a … we cannot reveal!

Dr. Porter very cordially hosted us in her residence after the visit. There, we had a chance to meet the scholars teaching at the universities, and local and European archaeologists conducting fieldwork in Jordan. For us, it was a memorable night in many respects. We believe that we will cherish this moment for many years to come!

Text and Photos by Anthi Andronikou & Suna Cagaptay 

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