Irbid- The U.S. Embassy in Amman is pleased to announce the completion of a project funded by the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) that has conserved and rehabilitated the Roman Aqueduct of Gadara in Umm Qais. Through our partnership with the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology of Yarmouk University on this $160,000 grant, this important historical site is better preserved for the people of Jordan and for the many visitors and tourists who will come to marvel at the ingenuity of ancient builders.
Today, Yarmouk University, in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy, held a ceremony, to officially open the tunnel to the Jordanian public and tourists.
The Roman Aqueduct in Umm Qais is the largest Roman water system in the world, covering 170 km from Jordan to Syria — a distance more than nine times the length of the second longest subterranean aqueduct in Italy.
Work under this AFCP grant took place from 2015-2018 and enabled the Department of Conservation and Management of Cultural Resources at Yarmouk University to prepare the aqueduct to welcome tourists and increase overall interest in the site as a tourist attraction in the North of Jordan.
The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation supports the preservation of cultural sites, objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression around the world. Since 2001, Jordan has received over $2 million in grants to fund 18 unique cultural heritage preservation projects in places like Petra, al-Beidha, Umm al-Jimaal, Abila, the Jordan Valley and in downtown Amman. “The United States is proud to stand as a partner in preserving and protecting Jordan’s heritage sites,” said U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Jim Barnhart. “Tourism remains one of the foundations of Jordan’s economy and the United States is committed to supporting its continued growth.”
For more information on the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, please visit: http://eca.state.gov/cultural-heritage-center/ambassadors-fund-cultural-preservation; Attached is a Fact Sheet on the AFCP program in Jordan.
U.S. Embassy Jordan AFCP Fact Sheet
Since 2001, the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation has awarded 17 small grants and one large grant with additional continuation fund to preserve important archeological sites in Jordan, totaling $2,230,441.
- Preservation of the Siq al-Mudhlim near the Dead Sea, a Nabataean-era water tunnel and dam carved out of mountain rock and located in a popular hiking and nature area. (2003- $46,500) – Petra National Trust
- Preservation and interpretation of the Neolithic Village of Ghwair in Wadi Feinan, one of the best-preserved settlements representing all phases of the Neolithic period. (2005- $39,748) – University of Nevada, Las Vegas/Dept. of Anthropology and Ethnic Studies
- Preservation of Tall Hesbon Archaeological Site, which consolidates important structures from the Roman, Mamluk, Umayyad, and Byzantine periods. (2005-$50,228) – Andrews University (USA)
- Consolidation of the wall paintings in Siq al Barid, Beidha; the finest and most extensive fragments of original plaster and Nabataean mural paintings dating from the first half of 1st century BC. (2006-$33,817) – Petra National Trust
- Preservation and access improvements to sites in the Decapolis City of Abila, a large area of ancient sites that enhance the understanding of life in the ancient Near East. (2007-$32,200) – Hartha Charitable Society (Irbid)
- Restoration of Petra’s ancient Nabataean flood protection system that protects the Khazne courtyard from flash floods. (2010-$83,700) – Petra National Trust
- Conservation of the ruins of the 1st-century Temple of the Winged Lions at Petra. (2011- $600,000) (One of only three AFCP large grants for 2011) – American Center for Oriental Research (ACOR) and the Jordanian Department of Antiquities.
- Preservation of the ruins of House XVIII at Umm el-Jimaal in Mafraq. (2011- $96,082) – Dr. Bert De Vries, Umm el-Jimal Project/Calvin College and Open Hand Studios.
- The second phase of the preservation of the ruins of Houses XVII and XVIII at Umm el-Jimal Archaeological Site. (2013- $45,000) – Dr. Bert De Vries, Umm el-Jimal Project/Calvin College and Open Hand Studios.
- The second phase of the ancient Nabataean flood protection system at Petra. (2013-$58,840) – Petra National Trust.
- Conservation of the early 8th century Apodyterium at Qusayr ‘Amra. (2013-$99,700) – World Monuments Fund
- The Restoration and Rehabilitation of the Roman Nymphaeum in Amman (2014-$194,275) – University of Jordan/Hamdi Mango Center for Scientific Research.
- Conservation and Rehabilitation of the Roman Aqueduct of Gadara-Jordan (2015-$160,000) – Yarmouk University/Department of Conservation and Management of Cultural Heritage
- Phase Two – Conservation of the 1st Century Temple of the Winged Lions at Petra (2015-$200,000) – American Center for Oriental Research (ACOR) and the Jordanian Department of Antiquities.
- Phase Two – The Restoration and Rehabilitation of the Roman Nymphaeum in Amman. (2016-$140,351) – University of Jordan/Hamdi Mango Center for Scientific Research.
- Restoration of the Ancient Nabataean Flood Control System in Wadi Madras at Petra. (2017- $150,000)- German Jordanian University.
- Conservation of the 2nd-Century Temple of Artemis at Jerash. (2018 – $200,000)- Monumenta Orientalia.