Amman- 11 September 2017

On Sunday 10th of September 2017 The Center of the Study Natural and Cultural Heritage at The German Jordanian University (GJU), organized a workshop on “Ancient Terrace Practices in Jordan” under the patronage of the Director General, Department of Antiquities (DOA), Dr. Monther Jamhawi, with the collaboration of The German protestant institute of Archeology (GPIA) and The German Archaeological Institute-Berlin.

The President of GJU Dr. Manar Fayyad, said that the workshop reflects the strong partnership established between German and Jordanian Institutions and emphasized the importance of exchange of scientific knowledge and expertise.

Dr. Fayyad added that GJU has joined the National efforts in protecting the cultural heritage of Jordan starting from conservation of vernacular architecture to establishing “Build Heritage” conservation program until   creating the Center of the Study Natural and cultural Heritage in 2012, the efforts of which has been recognized by winning awards and a series of successful projects.

Dr. Jamhawi said that it is very important to discuss terraces topic because it considered as a live interpretation to understand the human history and a reflection to the human revolution and how they interacted with natural environment.

He added that terraces show the innovation of mankind in the past in dealing with agriculture problems in order to survive and achieve sustainability.

From her side GPIA President Katharina Schmidt stressed the importance of the topic, clarifying that to a certain extent human life in Jordan was only possible with an active management of the landscape, which includes water- management, preservation of the soil and the building techniques.

She added that in her research she came to a realization that terraces subject is broadly discussed on international basis, stating that Jordan’s rich ancient cultural heritage would have been impossible without the modest structure; the terrace.

She also valued GJU role in gathering people from different academic fields and nations to provide a space for discussion and to make relevant research happen, hoping that the workshop could enhance the cooperation between local and international researchers on joint projects to raise awareness of  terraces importance in the history of Jordan.

Director of the Center Dr. Nizar Abu Jaber, clarified that several recommendations were concluded to protect the natural heritage and activate Joint cooperation between competent local and international experts to revive these patterns, especially with the many environmental challenges that agriculture sector faces, also to build a network of specialists to work in joint project and raise awareness toward terraces.

The workshop included three themes, the first aims to study the history of the practices, the second focuses on the uses of the terraces, the third deals with ways to document the terraces and conserve them by the DOA.

The workshop was attended by local and international specialists from DOA, Petra Development Tourism Region Authority, the National Center for Agriculture Research and Extension. Public Universities, UNESCO, The Hashemite Fund for the Development of Jordan Badia, Institute of Foreign Archeology working in Jordan, besides experts from Germany, Italy, Switzerland and America.