The second semester at the École Biblique et Archéologique Française de Jérusalem continues with the traditional student study trip to Jordan! Between exploring Wadi Rum and Petra, the biblical remains of Mount Nebo and the archaeological discoveries of Jerash, … An intense stay! Charlotte Damiano, recipient of a scholarship from the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, looks back on this highlight of her year at the École:

Umm Arrasas

“The end of the academic year is synonymous, for us students, doctoral candidates and researchers at the École Biblique et Archéologique Française de Jérusalem, with a redoubling of effort in our writing work, time spent in the library, and concentration. However, for a week, we were able to take a break from the academic world by going on a study trip to Jordan.

What a change of scenery! Although it’s only a two-hour drive from Jerusalem, Jordan offers a culture and history quite different from the plains of the Shephelah or the rich Galilee we visited at the beginning of the year. Here, there are fewer biblical references, fewer testamentary quotations: we are mainly offered Roman, Crusader and Islamic ruins. Supervised by Brother Yunus Demirci, o. f. m. cap. and a local Jordanian guide, we crossed the length and breadth of Jordan, passing through its main archaeological sites.


A dense but stimulating program that took us from Aqaba to Amman. We explored the steep valleys of Petra on foot, or the red sand dunes and sandstone mountains of Wadi Rum in 4×4. In Madaba, we saw the famous map of the Jordan Valley, including Jerusalem. At Mount Nebo, we wandered through the monastery that stood there in Byzantine times. We also ventured off the beaten track to the heart of the desert, to the site of Qasr Bshir. We were very lucky to be able to explore these ruins, as they will soon be closed to the public: this Roman fort will soon undergo major – and necessary! – restoration. Our personal favorite is the impressive Jerash, also known as the Pompeii of Jordan. And rightly so! Strolling through its cardo, market and temples, you’re transported to an ancient city that has preserved its splendor.

For an archaeology student working on urban planning, I was able to observe vestiges that scream of timelessness. Although I specialize in primitive urban planning and prehistory, it’s always interesting to discover vestiges of other times in the field.”


Citadelle d’Amman



Qsar Bshir