Abila of the Decapolis


City of an Ancient League

Located among the well-watered fields of northern Jordan, the ancient city of Abila was once part of the Decapolis—a league of ten cities that formed a Hellenistic or Greco-Roman confederation located south of the Sea of Galilee in the Transjordan. Occupied from the Early Bronze Age down into the Middle Islamic periods, Abila was located on a strategic route from Nabataea to Damascus and became a very important city in antiquity.

Volunteers to our excavation will find five Byzantine churches, a Roman bath, an early Islamic period monastic complex, beautifully painted tombs, Bronze and Iron Age occupation areas and miles of underground water tunnels.

Students serve as square supervisors, working side by side with experienced excavators as they uncover the exciting past of our Decapolis city. Work this season will focus on finishing the excavation of two Byzantine churches and then continuing the excavation of the Bronze and Iron Age strata.


How does a dig team work? What do archaeologists look for at a dig? In this documentary DVD, learn how excavators work and what we can learn from archaeology. Learn more >>


Geographic Location

Northern Jordan, 15 km north of Irbid

Periods of Occupation

Early Bronze through Middle Islamic periods


Dr. David Vila
John Brown University
2000 West University Street
Siloam Springs, AR 72761
Phone: 1-479-524-7329
[email protected]
Abila Archaeological Project