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  Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project  

The Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project (TeHEP) is a scientific endeavor of TSU's College of Archaeology under the auspices of the Department of Antiquities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. TeHEP is under the direction of Dr Steven Collins (Dean, TSU College of Archaeology).
TeHEP is now entering its eleventh season of excavation, and is scheduled to continue well into the foreseeable future.

Positioned at the cross-section of important N/S and E/W trade routes about 8 miles NE of the Dead Sea, Tall el-Hammam developed into a large village during the Chalcolithic Period (4600-3600 BCE), and into the region's major urban center during the Early Bronze Age (3600-2500 BCE). It continued as a significant city through the Intermediate Bronze Age (2500-1950 BCE) and Middle Bronze Age (1950-1550 BCE), during which Tall el-Hammam met its demise during MB2, along with several other towns in the immediate vicinity.  For approximately 700 years, the site and the surrounding area remained unoccupied; a mysterious phenomenon given the fact that the southern Jordan Valley east of the river was the most fertile, well-watered agricultural land in the southern Levant.

During the second half of the Iron Age, beginning about the 10th century BCE, settlers returned to the area, and Tall el-Hammam once again became an important location, but on a much smaller scale than the massive center of civilization it had been during the Bronze Age. Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic presence have also contributed to the complexity and interest of the site.

A good portion of the biblical narrative played out on and around Tall el-Hamman. Many scholars now recognize that the area in which the site is situated, and its occupational chronology, match the geography of biblical Sodom and the Cities of the Plain as given in Genesis 13. Tall el-Hammam is most likely the city of Sodom itself. Scholars have also identified Tall el-Hammam as the location of Abel Shittim where the Moses and Joshua encamped with the Israelites before they crossed the Jordan River toward Jericho. The later Roman occupation at the site may also be part of the city of Livias, capital of Perea, built by Herod Antipas. Indeed, Abraham, Lot, Moses, Joshua, kings David and Solomon, John the Baptizer, and Jesus of Nazareth all participated in the amazing history of Tall el-Hammam.

TeHEP invites you to become a dig volunteer! For more information on TeHEP and how to become a volunteer, visit the official Tall el-Hammam website by clicking HERE.


Excavation is expensive. TeHEP needs your financial support in order to continue its important work. If you'd like to make a donation in support of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project, you can do so through the TSU Online Store by clicking HERE.