Beit Ras/ Capitolias
Dates of works: 10 April –7 May 2016
Director: Prof. Jolanta Młynarczyk (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw)
DOA Representative: Asmaa and Nehad Rousan
Archaeologists: Dr. Mariusz Burdajewicz (independent researcher), Dr. Mariusz Drzewiecki (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań), Dorota Mazanek (PhD candidate, University of Warsaw)
Student-trainee: Rafał Bieńkowski (PhD candidate, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences).
Polish excavations at the site of Beit Ras (ancient Capitolias) in the governorate of Irbid, northern Jordan, investigated an area in the northern part of the ancient town, to the west of the Roman-age theater. Three seasons of fieldwork were conducted, starting in 2014 with a survey using the electric resistivity method to detect ancient structures. The presence of architectural features was noted, dated by surface finds spanning a period from the 1st–2nd through the 12th–13th centuries AD. In the next two seasons, in 2015 and 2016, excavation of three archaeological trenches led to the discovery of the remains of a winery and a section of the city wall, as well as a sequence of floors. This established a chronology of usage from the Roman to the early medieval period and proved that this part of the town was mostly domestic in character, at least during the Byzantine and early Islamic periods. Evidence of destruction of a nearby church was also found, tentatively attributed to a Sassanian raid in AD 614 or soon after.
Acknowledgments: We are very grateful to our Jordanian partner on behalf of the DOA, Eng. Amjad Batayneh, for his friendly and fruitful cooperation, as well as to Prof. Nabil Bader of the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology, Yarmouk University, Irbid (Dean of the Faculty in 2012–2015), for his unfailing help. During our successive stays in Jordan we benefitted from the support of H.E. the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland, Dr. Krzysztof Bojko. We wish also to express our warm gratitude to the DOA staff from the Beit Ras office for their most friendly attitude and their kind assistance on a daily basis. Many thanks are due Dr. Małgorzata Redlak (National Museum in Warsaw) and Mr. Tomasz Więcek (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw) for identification of, respectively, the Islamic glazed pottery and coins.
Text: Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 26/1
Jolanta Młynarczyk: susyam(at)wp.pl