“A New Monumental Latin Inscription from ‘Ayn Gharandal” by Drs. Robert and Erin Darby

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Words in the Sand: A New Monumental Latin Inscription from ‘Ayn Gharandal

Inscripted block (lower right) as found in 'Ayn Gharandal gate area. Photo Darby 2013.
Inscripted block (lower right) as found in ‘Ayn Gharandal gate area. Photo Darby 2013.

Dr. Robert Darby & Dr. Erin Darby
University of Tennessee

Tuesday 3 June 2014 at 6:00pm
Reception to Follow

About the Lecture

On 17 June 2013, the ‘Ayn Gharandal Archaeological Project discovered a monumental imperial Latin inscription in the ruins of the Late Roman fort at ‘Ayn Gharandal in the Wadi Arabah. Given the potential historical significance of the find, the inscripted stone was removed from the site by special permission from the Department of Antiquities of Jordan directly to the conservation laboratory of the American Center of Oriental Research in Amman (ACOR) where it currently remains for final study. The inscription dates to the reign of the emperor Diocletian (284 to 305 A.D.).

Having undergone treatment to stabilize and consolidate the stone and its painted remnants as well as examination using RTI (Reflectance Transference Imaging), a full analysis of the ‘Ayn Gharandal inscription and its historical implications can now be offered.
The ‘Ayn Gharandal Archaeological Project in conjunction with the ACOR Conservation Co-operative (ACC) will present for the first time in Jordan a public lecture detailing the stone’s discovery, the analysis of its text, and the broader historical significance of ‘Ayn Gharandal during the 4th century C.E.

This lecture is offered to our esteemed friends and colleagues in Jordan, particularly those at the Department of Antiquities, as a special preview to the full publication of the ‘Ayn Gharandal inscription in the forthcoming Journal of Roman Archaeology in November 2014.
The stone with the Roman imperial inscription will be unveiled and displayed for special viewing by those in attendance.

About the Lecturers

Robert Darby is an Art Historian and Archaeologist and is currently a lecturer at the University of Tennessee School of Art. He co-directs the on-going excavations of the ancient site of ‘Ayn Gharandal in southern Jordan and his research areas include Roman baths, iconography and Roman provincial art—particularly that of the Roman Near East. He has taught at Elon University and North Carolina State University and held fellowships at the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem and at ACOR in Amman. Robert Darby received his graduate education in Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology from the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Erin Darby is an Archaeologist and an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee. She co-directs the ‘Ayn Gharandal Archaeological Project in southern Jordan, and her forthcoming manuscript, Interpreting Judean Pillar Figurines, focuses on female figurines in ancient Judah and across the ancient Near East. She is the recipient of a number of fellowships and awards, including a fellowship at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem and a number of Duke travel fellowships that supported research at the American Center of Oriental Research, the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute, and at the National Museums of Damascus and Aleppo. Erin received her Ph.D. from Duke University (2011) and her M.A. from Missouri State University (2002).