In the 1989 brochure of the Institut Français d’archéologie du Proche-Orient, the excavations at Khirbet Es-Samra are introduced as follows: “The research programme was carried out at Samra with the aim of tracing the development of Christianity in a small town in the northern province of Arabia”. The project began in 1977, 53 years after the discovery of inscriptions by Father Savignac of the École Biblique.
The years have passed, and the brothers’ daily lives have changed. The excavation campaigns have come to an end, and now it’s time for study and publication.
For the last ten years, during the summer months, Jean-Baptiste and Jean-Michel have been bringing their team of researchers together. The conditions are less spartan, with no more nights on the ground, no more electricity or running water, no more sweltering heat and no more living with scorpions !
On the other hand, their commitment, their passion for extracting the juice from their fieldwork and their desire to advance research are still there !
One of the events of the summer of 2023 is the end of the sorting of the bulk of the work on the Amman Citadel, accumulated since 1994! This year, no fewer than 100,000 shards were examined one by one, with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker!
“The reward for the campaign was the discovery of a limestone ostracon inscribed in Aramaic from the 5th century BC”.