Yarmouk University Vice President for Academic Affairs, Prof. Ziad al-Saad launched a workshop entitled "Legal Aspects of the Proposed Amendments to the Jordanian Law of Antiquities", presented by the Department of Antiquities. This workshop comes as a complement to a series of workshops organized by the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology in cooperation with Almasir International Center for Studies and Research. The workshops were organized as a part of the project "Rescue the Cultural Heritage of Jordan against Trafficking and Smuggling Antiquities", funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

During the workshop the participants stressed on the need to conduct a series of modifications to the Jordanian Law of Antiquities No. 21 of the 1988, in order to cope with the developments and changes that have occurred from the date the law was passed to the present day, which will enable the official bodies to find solutions to issues arising from the weakness of some of the provisions of the law.

The participants at the workshop discussed and revised the existing legislations, where they recommended a series of corrections to the current law and the proposed amendments to be presented to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Prof. Al-Saad stated that the General Department of Antiquities submitted a proposal to amend the current law taking into consideration modern legal and technological developments, international legislations, and preservation the cultural heritage for future generations.

A team of scholars and students was at work from April 26 till May 19, 2016 in the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology to prepare the elements for the final publication works of Khirbat edh-Dharih excavations. Preparations for this study season started in the spring of 2015 with a short evaluation season conducted in the storerooms by a smaller team, resulting in setting up a program of study that extends over a period of several years; every spring of these coming years, a team will come back to work for one month on the study of Dharih stuff at the faculty storerooms until all study works are finished and results are ready for publication.

Khirbet edh-Dharih field program, led by Prof. Dr. al-Muheisen from Yarmouk University and Prof. Dr. Villeneuve from IFPO and Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne University, included survey, large-scale and long-term excavations, and impressive architectural restorations as well as works for local tourism. It lasted from 1983, the first survey, till 2013, the last season of excavations, including 13 major seasons of excavations (between 1984 and 2007) and additional short seasons (between 2008 and 2013). Two major exhibitions were also organized to present Dharih to the Jordanian public: one was at Museum of Jordanian Heritage in Yarmouk University in 2000 and the other was in Greater Amman Municipality in 2002. In addition, edh-Dharih sculptures and objects were masterpieces of the major exhibition on Petra and the Nabataeans, which travelled in 2003 and the following years to New York, Cincinnati and other cities in North America. Currently, reconstructions of the major series of edh-Dharih reliefs are the jewels of the Nabataean Hall in Jordan Museum in Amman. A number of other impressive finds from edh-Dharih are exhibited at the Museum of Jordanian Heritage in Yarmouk University.

The team started his work this year by a field visit to edh-Dharih site to evaluate the situation there. During this visit, the team discovered a series of tombstones uncovered by the robbers; one of them has a particular significance. In the storerooms of the faculty, the team continued the thematic storing (by type, by area of excavations, by sub-area, and by year of excavation) and conditioning of the huge quantities of edh-Dharih archaeological finds. At the end of the season, the Dharih collections are stored in only seven locations in five storerooms, which is much less scattered than earlier, and some series, like animal bones, stuccos, architectural fragments, are now almost correctly brought together.

He praised Dr. Rifaat Faouri President of Yarmouk University, the initiative launched by the Academy of palaces, and Irbid City Centre to activate cooperation between the university and the private sector relationship.

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