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Pella in Jordan: 10 thousand millennia old and still going strong

September 15, 2018 @ 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Speaker: Ben Churcher

Academy Travel are proud to sponsor the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre’s Artz Talk 2018 program.

It is a little-known fact that one of the longest running excavations in the world has been organised out of the University of Sydney for the past 40 years. Since 1979, spade by spade, bucket by bucket, tonnes of earth have been moved to reveal the life and times of the city of Pella in Jordan. This town has been continuously occupied for ten thousand years from the small oblong Neolithic houses at the bottom of the sequence to the bomb craters and shrapnel from the 1967 Arab–Israeli War at the surface of the site. While other sites have grander Roman monuments, or more spectacular Bronze Age ramparts, Pella is a survivor. As those other sites come and go, Pella continues; sometimes grand, such as in the Middle Bronze Age (c. 1850 BCE) when it was a major ‘cathedral town’, and sometimes just a small town in the foothills of the Jordan Valley seemingly passed over by regional events.

This ebb and flow of history has been charted by a team of hard-working Australians over the years: and the work continues as the team currently gears up for another season in January/February 2019. This lecture, by someone who has been at the site since 1983, will introduce you to the region of Pella and to some of the major finds that have come to light over the years. Along the way we’ll visit massive Early Bronze Age stone monuments 600 years older than the pyramids, a huge Canaanite temple that was in use as the tribes of Israel established kingdoms on the other side of the Jordan River, Roman tombs, Byzantine churches and Islamic townscapes. And the fact that we now know this rich mosaic of history set in the rolling hills of Jordan is something all Australians can be proud of.

The cost for this lecture is:

  • Friends of Hazelhurst $5
  • Non-members $10

Book now on (02) 8536 5700 or at Art Centre Reception.


September 15, 2018
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm


Ben Churcher


Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre
782 Kingsway
Gymea, NSW 2227 Australia
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(02) 8536 5700