Jordan: The Forgotten Holy Land 2020

November 05 - 15, 2020
- Dr. John Swanson, American University in Cairo

Amman — Petra — Wadi Rum — The Dead Sea

Journey across thousands of years of history from Biblical sites to Greek and Roman outposts. Follow the ancient trader’s route and explore magnificent landscapes and the remains of some of antiquity’s greatest monuments. Join us for a wonderful new crusade—a medley of past and present—to experience the riches of Jordan that have an exceptional place in our history.

We are fine-tuning this content-rich trip packed with Middle East History thanks to our archaeologists, historians, researchers, Bedouins, and Jordanian citizens. If interested, please call 800-221-4644 x 216 or email [email protected] with your contact information. We’ll be in touch with more information as it becomes available.


Touch the remains of Jordan’s 12 Biblical Sites

Meet archaeologists and view the Petra Scrolls at an ACOR reception.

Explore Petra, Little Petra, and Beida for a full day with an archaeologist

Experience Petra candle lit at night: with music and Nabataen and Bedoin storytelling.

Gaze at the desert sky and sleep under a blanket of stars from luxury tents at Wadi Rum;

Enjoy the thrill of a desert safari

Dine in a Bedouin tent

Hunt for Neolithic Rock Art with an expertly trained Bedouin

Encounter rarely visited archaeological Park at Madaba; dine in a heritage building.

View the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Jordan Archaeological Museum.

Delve into ongoing archaeology at Gawr As Safi and the newly discovered sugar mill

Dip into the Dead Sea waters; visit a museum at the lowest point on earth.

Meet members of a farming community and cook a meal with them.


Thursday, November 5 and Friday, November 6
On independent arrival transfer to the Al Qasr Metropole Hotel. Benefit from a free day in Amman before your enlightening encounters with Jordan begin.

Saturday, November 7 B
Enjoy a seminar led by Dr. John Swanson, Ph.D. Middle East History; Professor and Vice-Provost American University in Cairo covering the history of Jordan from Neolithic/Biblical times to the present. John’s presentations will shed light on all of your Jordan experiences, and offer a depth and breadth that will inform and inspire.

Sunday, November 8 B S
Depart this morning for the Citadael; site of ancient Rabbath-Ammon with Roman, Byzantine and early Islamic remains, the Roman Theater, which dates back to AD138-161 and the Jordan Archaeological Museum. Visit the Jordan Museum which houses artefacts from Jordanian History and is home to some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, including the enigmatic Copper Scroll, and the the ʿAin Ghazal statues, which are among the oldest figurines ever made by human hands. Travel north of Amman to Jerash; one of the best-preserved Hellenistic and Roman sites in the eastern Mediterranean, and the Decapolis city of Biblical Gerasa (Mark 5:1) is a vast treasure trove of remains of temples, theatres, colonnaded streets, and a magnificent cardo maximus, transporting you back to the glory of Rome.

Monday, November 9 B L
Amidst beautiful pine forests and olive groves visit; Ajloun – a 12th-century Muslim castle built by the Ayyubids that guarded three wadis that led to the Jordan Valley below, Anjara or “running spring,” is home to the “Our Lady of the Mount” Catholic pilgrimage site, and Tel Mar Elias, an archaeological site recognized by some as the possible Biblical site of Tishbe mentioned 1 Kings 17:1, the residence and/or birthplace of the Prophet Elijah. Enjoy a Lebanese lunch and visit Um Quis, the former Decapolis city of Gadara (Matt. 8:28) leveled during the Jewish Revolt against Rome. Explore the ruins with magnificent views of the Golan Heights and Lake Tiberias. Visit the Decapolis city of Pella; known as early as the Neolithic period, it grew powerful during the Greek and Roman periods, and became a center for Christianity, constructing hundreds of monasteries during the Byzantine period. This evening attend a private reception and presentation at ACOR; meet with archaeologists view the Petra Scrolls.

Tuesday, November 10 B L
Depart Amman driving along the King’s Highway – one of two main trade routes in antiquity, connecting Africa with Mesopotamia and the east. Our first stop is From here visit Mt. Nebo, the traditional mountain that Moses ascended to gaze into the promised land (Deut. 34:1). Madaba is famous for the Madaba Mosaic Map in the floor of the Church of St. George, which offers a snapshot of where ancient cities were in the 6th century CE when the map was created. At the rarely visited Archaeological Park, we’ll view exquisite mosaics in a collection of Byzantine Churches. After lunch in a 19th century villa (considered some of the best food in Jordan) visit Machaerus, the hilltop fortress where John the Baptist was imprisoned and executed by Herod Antipas (Josephus, Antiquities 18.5.2; Mark 6:24). Arriving at the Petra area, check in to the Petra Nabatean Movenpik Hotel.

This evening, experience Petra by night; during the day it’s awe-inspiring; experienced at night lit by 1,800 candles it is out of this world! Walk through the Siq on a candle-lit path to the Kanzeh; enjoy the haunting music of Bedouins at the Treasury, where you will be told stories about ancient Petra and the Nabateans who lived there around 2,000 years ago.

Wednesday, November 11 B L
Over 2,000 years ago the Nabataean Arabs created a city by carving houses, temples, tombs, theaters and a water system out of rock. This morning meet an expert Archaeologist for a full day tour of Petra: the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom, it is the crown jewel of Jordan and one of the archaeological wonders of the ancient world. A city carved from stone, Petra is a must-see site that cannot be adequately captured in words or on film.

Thursday, November 12 B L D
This morning visit Beidha or Little Petra where archaeologists believe the site was a merchant’s ‘suburb’ of its namesake. Travel to Wadi Rum where you will be immersed in stunningly magnificent desert landscapes that T. E. Lawrence described as ‘Vast, echoing, and God like.’ Take a desert safari, hunt for Rock Art with a Bedouin expert, enjoy lunch in a Bedouin Tent, and spend the evening gazing at the desert sky. “Wadi Rum is home to modern Bedouins, ancient Nabataeans, some of the most massive and unique rock formations on earth, and for a while, Lawrence of Arabia. “Dinner, and an overnight experience under the stars in Bedouin tents are among my most unforgettable experiences.” – BAR Editor Robert Cargill

Friday, November 13 B
Depart Wadi Rum; visit Umm ar-Rassas which is identified with the Biblical site of Mephaat (Jer. 48:21) due to the discovery of massive, sophisticated mosaics that once served as the floor of the 8th century Church of Saint Stephen and Bethany-Beyond-the-Jordan; mentioned in New Testament as the place where John the Baptist performed baptisms, including that of Jesus, Bethany (John 1:28-29) is known as Bethabara in the Madaba Map. Arriving at the Dead Sea check in to the Movenpik Dead Sea Resort and Spa where the balance of the day is free to enjoy the hotel amenities.

Wednesday, November 14 B L
After a visit to Lot’s Cave, the traditional site where Lot hid and lived with his two daughters (Gen. 19:30), and the Sugar Mill recent archaeological discovery and its’ museum, meet local farmers – pick fruits and vegetables and enjoy lunch with them. The perfect ending to your rich, insightful and unforgettable experiences with Jordan. Drive back to Amman and check in to the Airport Hotel.

Thursday, November 15 B
The hotel will transfer you independently to the airport for your individual flights to the U. S.


Dr. John Swanson

Attend a seminar led by Dr. John T. Swanson

Swanson, Ph.D. African History, is currently Senior Advisor at the American University in Cairo (AUC). Previously, he served there as Associate Provost, Professor of Egyptology and History, and Director of International Programs. During the time Swanson was director of AUC’s outreach efforts, he was featured as a study leader for a variety of major educational travel programs for many prestigious American educational institutions.

Plus on site experts:
scholars-historians-archaeologists-Bedouins-Jordanian Citizens


  • Travel insurance is highly recommended. You are encouraged to apply within 21 days of our receipt of your deposit to obtain coverage from a Travel Insurance company. Best quality coverage occurs if applied for within 15 days of our receipt of deposit. We recommend, but you are not limited to, Visit them online or call them at 1-800-937-1387. Mention Code 32335.


  • Deposit: $1,000.00
  • Land Tour Cost (per person, based on double occupancy): $5,695.00
  • Single Room Supplement: $995.00
  • If a roommate is requested and one is not available, the single supplement must be charged. Single space is limited.
  • Full payment due by August 6, 2020.



If you are unable to print the digital registration form, please contact Alicia Bregon of BAS at 1-800-221-4644, ext. 216.

To pay off your balance, click here.


For more information contact:

Temma Ecker, M. Ad. Ed..
Our Jordan Expert
833-865-5568 (Toll-free)
Email: [email protected]
Alicia Bregon
Biblical Archaeology Society
800-221-4644 ext. 216 (Toll-free)
202-364-3300 ext 216
Email: [email protected]