Hisham's Palace Site Museum, May 2014

The Jericho Mafjar Project is pleased to announce the opening of a new on-site museum.  The museum presents archaeological artifacts, architectural elements, and stucco decoration, providing a range of information to visitors about the site’s rich history and aspects of daily life in the palace and the adjacent agricultural estate.

To see a short news report on the opening ceremony, click here.

Click here to download "Hisham’s Palace Site and Museum Project" from the Oriental Institute 2013-14 Annual Report.

New publication by Taha & Whitcomb

The article, published in the inaugural volume of the journal of eastern mediterranean archaeology and heritage studies, discusses the site’s initial association with the caliphate of Walid ibn Yazid in light of new excavations. Recent discoveries suggest the existence of an early Islamic agricultural estate and the potential for a new understanding of early Islamic qusur or proto-urban settlements.

Click here to download the article, offered with the permission of The Pennsylvania State University Press.

Society for American Archaeology 2013 Annual Meeting

Project member Michael Jennings participated in the symposium "Digital Transitions: Technologies for Archaeological Fieldwork, Publishing, and Community Engagement" at the SAA annual conference in April in Hawaii. His paper "Digital Archaeology in the Middle East: Recent work in Jericho" discussed the role technology plays in cooperation between the members of the Jericho Mafjar Project by allowing sharing of data and ideas.

Dr. Whitcomb recently gave a lecture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

To see the video, click here.

"High-Tech Heritage" International Conference, May 2012

Project member Anthony Lauricella presented a paper at the conference "High-Tech Heritage: How are Digital Technologies Changing our Views of the Past?" at UMass-Amherst, May 2-4, 2012.

His paper "Online Resources for Qasr Hisham and the Jericho-Mafjar Project" analyzed the particular ways in which websites, online encyclopedias, and Wikis provide archaeological information relevant to ongoing excavations. His work stressed the need for accurate and current information, and the need for the researchers themselves to take responsibility for the online presentation of their research.

Filemaker Go and Archaeology

The use of the iPad Filemaker Go application for digital documentation of the Jericho Mafjar Project was featured on the FileMaker website.

Shakespeare in Jericho, April 2012

The Ashtar theater company, based in Ramallah, delivered "Richard II" in the open-air palace courtyard at Hisham’s Palace.

For more detail:

October 2011 University of Chicago Press Release

Joint Palestinian-American dig near Jericho yields clues about early Islamic culture:

"Why Does the Past Matter?" International Conference, May 2011

Dr. Iman Saca presented a paper, entitled "Building a Community Archaeology Program in Jericho: A Long Term Vision for a City and a Site,” at the international conference “Why Does the Past Matter?” held at the University of Massachusetts Amherst May 4-7, 2011.

Dr. Saca discussed the importance of a community archaeology approach to doing archaeology and heritage work, and the benefits of an engaged and involved community. In her paper she highlighted the outreach efforts established during the first season of excavation at Mafjar in an effort to create a comprehensive, collaborative community archaeology program with the Palestinian Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Ministry of Education, the Municipality, the local community, as well as the private sector in the city of Jericho.

Conference website:

Inauguration of the 2011 Season

On January 15th of this year, the joint cooperation for archaeology and heritage management at Khirbet al-Mafjar was inaugurated in a ceremony on the archaeological site. Dr. Kholoud Daibes, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, officiated this formal opening in the presence of Mr. Majid al-Fatyani, governor of Jericho District, and Mr. Mohammad Hawash, Ministry of Education superintendent. Dr. Hamdan Taha, representing the Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, and Dr. Donald Whitcomb, representing the University of Chicago, discussed hopes for future research and led a tour of the results from the first season of excavations.

For more detail: