Enduring Christianity in a Muslim world
The early Christian community of Udhruh (South Jordan) not only had an own bishop, but also played a unique role in the rapidly changing religious world of early Islam. Our project aims at understanding the complicated process of religious transformation in one of the centres of the early Muslim world.
- 2016 - 2018
- Mark Driessen
- NWO, Stichting van Moorsel en Rijnierse
Udhruh, a Late Roman fortress and Byzantine town in Southern Jordan, not far from the famous site of Petra, surrendered to Mohammed’s armies in 630. This was not, however, the end of its Christian community. Two churches on the site, one of which an important religious centre, witness of Christians continuing to live there for at least six centuries under Islam. This project aims to study the churches, their architectural history, the inscriptions and the changing conditions of the site together with historical texts, to understand better the religious transformation from Late Antiquity into the Middle Ages in the Levant.
Having surveyed the churches and excavated parts in previous campaigns, we have now started to excavate untouched parts and collect samples for scientific dating to advance this important project.
Driessen M.J., F. Abudanah, 2018. A new early Christian inscription from the church of Udhruh (South Jordan). In: Kars M., R. van Oosten, M.A. Roxburgh, A. Verhoeven (eds.) Rural riches & royal rags? Studies on medieval and modern archaeology, presented to Frans Theuws. Zwolle: SPA Uitgevers. 184-188.
Al-Bashaireh K., F. Abudanah, M.J. Driessen, 2020. Provenance analysis of marble ecclesiastical elements from the extra-mural Byzantine Church of Udhruh (South Jordan), Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 2020(1): 1-13.
Driessen M.J., F. Abudanah, F.C.W.J. Theuws (eds.), in prep. Enduring Christianity in a Muslim World: The extra-mural church of Udhruh (South Jordan) – Udhruh Archaeological Papers 1. Leiden-Sidestone Press (Analecta Praehistoria Leidensia 53).