Khirbat al-Balua

June 20 – August 2, 2019

An Iron Age Settlement in Jordan

Khirbat al-Balua is a multi-period site in central Jordan, north of Karak. The Balua Regional Archaeological Project (BRAP) has renewed excavations at this important site, identifying three main areas of excavation in a pilot season in 2017. The most extensive period of occupation at Balua dates to the Iron II period (1000–550 B.C.), when the city expanded to include a large, walled lower settlement. The Iron II settlement is impressive, with building walls preserved to over 6 feet in height and doorways with stone lintels still intact. The site is located in what is traditionally known as the Moabite region of Jordan.

The three areas of focus for the 2019 season include: an Iron II domestic structure, preserved by a destruction event; a section of the Iron II defense system, which in 2017 included a casemate room containing over 40 loom weights; and the monumental structure, the Qasr, that dominates the center of the site and which was built no later than the Iron I period. The 2019 season will continue work on these three key areas of the site. We will investigate everyday life, the society and economy, of the Iron Age by expanding our excavations of the Iron II house and fortification system. We will work to establish the founding date of the Qasr and clarify its use over the centuries as an Iron Age and later Nabataean structure. We will also focus on larger aspects of trade and the climate to situate Balua in its larger environmental context over the millennia.

More information on the 2019 season is at www.madabaplains.org/balua.

Photos and newsletters from previous season are at www.facebook.com/BRAPJordan.


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

Khirbat al-Balua, Jordan

Periods of Occupation

Bronze and Iron Ages, Nabatean, Islamic

Dates of the Dig

June 20 – August 2, 2019

Minimum Stay

3 weeks (two half season options available)

Application Due

March 1, 2019

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

Yes; 1–12 credits; $883/credit; awarded by La Sierra University


The dig team will reside in a small hotel outside Karak with full room and board included in the dig fee. Participants will occupy double and triple en-suite rooms. Optional weekend trips will tour the archaeological, historical, and natural sites of Jordan, including a two-day mid-season break at Petra.

Open For Tours



$2,500 (full season); $1,500 (half season); excludes travel costs and weekend trips


Friedbert Ninow

Friedbert Ninow is affiliated with La Sierra University.

Kent Bramlett

Kent Bramlett is affiliated with La Sierra University.

Monique Vincent

Monique Vincent is affiliated with Walla Walla University.


Dr. Monique Vincent
Walla Walla University
204 S. College Avenue
College Place, WA 99324
Phone: 509-527-2853
Email: [email protected]