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Archaeologist Mark Driessen’s book and project in royal spotlights

On September 28, 2022, dr.ir. Mark Driessen presented a publication about the ancient Roman frontier in Jordan. Venue for the book launch was the residence of the Dutch Ambassador in Amman. The event was attended by Prince Hassan bin Talal and his wife Princess Sarvath el Hassan, members of the Jordanian royal family.

Eastern Frontiers

The publication, part of a series called Frontiers of the Roman Empire, is titled The Eastern Frontiers. The focus of the book, of which Mark Driessen is one of the editors, is on Roman military architecture and its impact on local communities. Prince Hassan himself wrote the foreword.

Prince Hassan bin Talal and Mark Driessen


For years, Mark Driessen has been working in Jordan with his Jordanian colleague Fawzi Abudanah on the Udhruh Archaeological Project, exploring the hinterlands of the ancient centre of Petra. During the book publication, this project was put in the spotlights. At this event, Prince Hassan expressed his interest and requested a tour through the site. This was a spin-off that Mark Driessen had not seen coming.

Surrounded by security, Mark Driessen guided the royals through the Udhruh region

Visiting Udhruh

With the site surrounded by security, Mark Driessen and Fawzi Abudanah led the Prince and Princess through the Udhruh region. The royal guests were particularly interested in the ancient agro-hydrological systems employed in the Udhruh hinterland, and how gained knowledge on these can be applied in cooperation with local communities for sustainable agriculture in the near future.

Media attention

The book launch was reported by several Jordan news outlets, among others by the Jordan national television news programme.

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Interested in the book?

Are you interested in an English/French or Arabic copy of the launched book? Let Mark Driessen know!

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