Madaba Regional Archaeological Project Launch

The Department of Antiquities, along with USAID and the Italian Embassy helped to launch the Madaba Regional Archaeological Museum Project (MRAMP).


Held under the patronage of H.E. Director General of the Department of Antiquities, Dr. Monther Jamhawi, other speakers at the event included H.E. Italian Ambassador to Jordan Mr. Giovanni Brauzzi and USAID Jordan Economic Development and Energy Acting Director, Ms. Elizabeth Feary. Despite these distinguished guests, the spirit of the event was community, which was reflected by the large number of members of the Madaba community who attended along with international archaeologists and other cultural heritage enthusiasts.


“Cultural heritage is at the core of our shared identity and nowhere is this clearer than in Madaba. We’re so excited to be working with Italian and American teams to bring together cultural heritage from the entire region,” said Dr. Jamhawi.


Located along Madaba’s main tourist street in Madaba Archaeological Park West, the envisioned museum’s innovative design will incorporate the existing Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic period structures on site, as well as displaying artifacts found in the numerous historical and archaeological sites in the Madaba region. The MRAMP team sees the museum as a place for the local community, visitors, and scholars to come together to celebrate cultural and history from the Iron Age until today.


The project has long been in the minds and hearts of the international MRAMP Co-Directors: Dr. Douglas Clark, La Sierra University, USA; Dr. Suzanne Richards, Gannon University, USA; Dr. Andrea Polcaro, Perugia University, Italy; Dr. Marta D’Andrea, LaSapienza University, Italy; and Project Coordinator Basem Mahamid, Madaba Regional Office, the Department of Antiquities. The consortium has worked in the Madaba area for more than 30 years collectively and feel a strong tie to the place that has hosted them and been the focus for much of their academic work.


“We want to ensure that the community is involved in this project, every step of the way. The whole MRAMP team has worked in the Madaba area for years and years, and we want to give back. That’s why we’re working to boost employment, both directly through our project, but also by drawing in more visitors,” said Dr. Douglas Clark, Co-Director of MRAMP.


MRAMP is a subgrantee of USAID’s Sustainable Cultural Heritage Through Engagement of Local Communities Project (SCHEP). This four year project takes a unique, community-first approach to preserving, managing, and promoting cultural heritage in Jordan. USAID SCHEP is implemented by The American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR). ACOR and USAID have previously collaborated in Madaba, when a previous USAID grant funded conservation and restoration work in the 1990s.


Elizabeth Feary of USAID Jordan noted, “These collaborate, truly international projects are those that the American people are happy to support. This is what effective international cooperation looks like.”


In addition to support from USAID, MRAMP is supported by La Sierra University, Gannon University, Perugia University, Sapienza University, the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR), USAID SCHEP, and the Department of Antiquities.