Project: Frankish settlement in the Lordship of Transjordan. Society, economy and landscape in the Crusader period

  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Micaela Sinibaldi


    Project term:

    July 2022 to July 2025


    PLN 1 660 186


    National Science Centre in Poland, Opus 22, 2021/43/B/HS3/02530

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  • Frankish settlement in the Lordship of Transjordan. Society, economy and landscape in the Crusader period

    Keywords: Crusader period; Lordship of Transjordan; Jordan; Settlement Patterns; Economy and society; Archaeology of Medieval Society; Petra; Karak

    This project aims at exploring the subject of Crusader Transjordan with a holistic archaeological approach. The lordship of Transjordan, explored and settled by the Franks in the years 1100-1189, has until this moment been generally understood as having mainly the role of a military frontier of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Recent research has challenged this traditional view, showing a different picture. It concluded that both the region of Transjordan and its castles fulfilled more complex functions than defense, and that Transjordan was tightly and deeply connected to the rest of the kingdom of Jerusalem, for which it had a great importance.

    The project examines in detail the archaeology of the area between the Karak plateau and Petra, where the Franks have planned the most articulated and permanent settlement. The general research questions to be addressed by this project include:
    – What was the impact of the Crusader period in Transjordan? – What are the defining characteristics of settlement and society in Crusader Transjordan? – How do these aspects compare to the rest of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the other Crusader states?

    The project approaches these questions by a series of surveys and excavations in the regions between Karak and Petra. Methods used will include archaeobotany, archaeozoology, geology, ceramology and analysis of petrography, as well as a program of C14 analysis.

    Image: Kerak Castle / APAAME_20181014_RHB-0165

    Associated events:
    Lectures and conference presentations:

    May 22-26, 2023: Presentation at ICAANE 13th, University of Copenhagen. “Settlement in Crusader Transjordan (1100–1189): a Historical and Archaeological Study”

    Project bibliography:

    Sinibaldi, M., (2022). “The Crusader Lordship of Transjordan (1100–1189): Settlement Forms, Dynamics and Significance”. Levant 54.1, 124-154. (Open Access, published on 1 April 2022).


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