Debra Foran is an archaeologist who specializes in the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods in the southern Levant. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies and the Medievalism and Medieval Studies Program at Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) in Canada. Her current research focuses on the relationship between ritual, landscape, and economy during the Classical and Medieval periods in central Transjordan. She is the Director of the Khirbat al-Mukhayyat and Tall Madaba Archaeological Projects and regularly leads undergraduate field schools in conjunction with these projects. She holds a Licentiate in Medieval Studies from the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in Toronto. She earned a Master of Arts and PhD in Ancient Studies from the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Near Eastern archaeology from WLU. She has published several articles on her excavations in Jordan and the interaction between religious and lay communities in the Madaba/Mount Nebo region during the Byzantine period.
Spring Bible & Archaeology Fest 2022, April 2 – 3, 2022
The Town of Nebo through the Ages: New Discoveries from Khirbat al-Mukhayyat
Khirbet al-Mukhayyat, generally identified with the ancient “town of Nebo” mentioned in the ninth-century B.C.E. Mesha Stele, is located a few kilometers from the city of Madaba in Jordan. Four seasons of excavation and survey have produced evidence of occupation at Mukhayyat and the surrounding area spanning five millennia. Several Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age settlements have been identified to the south, while excavations on the mound itself have revealed substantial defensive structures from the Iron Age (eighth–sixth centuries B.C.E.) that were subsequently reused in the Hellenistic period (third–first centuries B.C.E.). The presence of a Hellenistic ritual bath and associated installations may indicate that Mukhayyat fulfilled more than a strategic function. During the Byzantine period (fifth–seventh centuries C.E.), three churches welcomed worshippers and pilgrims to the town.