Anne Dighton, PhD Candidate in Archaeology and the School's PGAO recently returned from fieldwork in Jordan. Anne was the Archaeobotanist at the site of Pella in the north Jordan Valley where, in addition to supervising the archaeobotanical program at the site, she was investigating the origins of two of the world’s most iconic plant species – the olive tree and the grapevine - for her Doctoral research. Anne has recently co-authored a paper published in the peer-reviewed journal, Vegetation History and Archaeobotany (with co-authors Andy Fairbairn, Stephen Bourke, Tyler Faith and Phil Habgood) which discusses some of this research.
A highlight of the season for Anne this year was assisting the Pella Project Director, Dr Stephen Bourke and the Pella staff with hosting a visit to the site by His Royal Highness Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan. His Royal Highness is a tireless supporter of Jordan’s cultural and environmental protection and development. He spends considerable time on the international stage engaged in discussion on topics such as human dignity, water, energy and the human environment, regional co-operation and interfaith solidarity. The following is an excerpt from an article published in the Jordan Times last week: “Out of his interest in the shared cultural heritage of the people of the region, the prince visited the Pella Archaeological Dig site in Tabaqat Fahl. From Bronze Age man to the Ottoman Empire; Pella has housed an overlapping series of communities, and reinforced his belief that the Middle East can return to the pluralistic society it was once famed for”.
After a tour of the site, a pleasant and informal lunch took place in the courtyard of the dighouse hosted by Dr Stephen Bourke and the Jordanian Department of Antiquities.