Jordan: The Forgotten Holy Land 2021

November 05 - 14, 2021
- Dr. John Swanson, American University in Cairo

The Dead Sea — Petra — Wadi Rum — Amman

Exclusively designed for BAS travelers

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.


· 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 Beidha for a full day with an archaeologist.

· 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.


Attend a seminar led by Dr. John Swanson, Ph.D. in Middle East History; Professor and Special Advisor to the Provost at The American University in Cairo.

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



Friday, November 5

On independent arrival transfer to the Hilton Dead Sea Resort and Spa. The balance of the day is free before your enlightening encounters with Jordan begin.

Saturday, November 6 BL

This morning, 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.

This afternoon 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. Enjoy lunch in a 19th-century villa (considered some of the best food in Jordan).

Sunday, November 7 BL

After your morning seminar, enjoy a date tasting experience at a local Date Farm (Jordan is known for some of the finest dates in the world); savor a home-cooked lunch at the farm. Visit Bethany-Beyond-the-Jordan; mentioned in the 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. Visit the Dead Sea Panorama Museum with spectacular views of the area.

Monday, November 8 BL

Depart the Dead Sea this morning for 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. From here, drive to Petra and check into the Hyatt Zaman Village.

Tuesday, November 9 BL

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.

Wednesday, November 10 BLD

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 dinner with him 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

Thursday, November 11 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. On the way to Amman, visit Machaerus, the hilltop fortress where John the Baptist was imprisoned and executed by Herod Antipas (Josephus, Antiquities 18.5.2; Mark 6:24). Arrive Amman; check in to the Al Qasr Metropole Hotel.

Friday, November 12 BL

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.

Saturday, November 13 BL

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. Back in Amman visit 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 ʿAin Ghazal statues, which are among the oldest figurines ever made by human hands. Enjoy lunch at the famous Wild Jordan Café. With organic food and spectacular views of Amman, this is the perfect ending to your Jordan experience.

Sunday, November 14, B

Depart Amman and transfer to the airport for your individual flights to the U. S.


Dr. John Swanson of the American University in Cairo

Brings Context and Perspective to your Experiences
John T. Swanson, Ph.D. African History, is currently Senior Advisor at the American University in Cairo (AUC). He previously served as Associate Provost, Professor of Egyptology and History, and Director of International Programs. During the time that he 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. John’s Seminar received rave reviews from BAS Participants in 2019.


  • 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 upon application: $1,000
  • Land (based on double occupancy): $5,695
  • Single Room Supplement, Land: $895
  • Balance due, payable by check, no later than August 5, 2021



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


For more information contact:

Temma Ecker, M. Ad. Ed..
Our Jordan and Egypt Expert
Email: [email protected]
Alicia Bregon
800-221-4644 ext. 216 (Toll-free)
Email: [email protected]
Biblical Archaeology Society
4710 41st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20016