Madaba Back to the key sites map

Tall Madaba

Debra Foran

The Tall Madaba Archaeological Project (TMAP) and the University of Toronto began excavations in Madaba in 1996, exposing remains from the Early Bronze and Iron Ages on the south side of the tell. In 1998, excavations began on the west side of the city’s acropolis in two areas separated by a monumental, pre-classical fortification wall. The remains in both of these areas reflect Madaba’s waxing and waning fortunes as a regional center for over 5,000 years.

  • Early Bronze Age (4th/3rd millennium BC) – Monumental fortification wall and evidence of extramural occupation
  • Iron Age I/IIA (12th-10th centuries BC) – Large residential building with the remains of a large collection of storage vessels
  • Iron IIB (9th-7th centuries BC) – Large sections of a “four-room” house, several examples of domestic cultic objects such as altar fragments and clay figurines, and a large collection of local painted ceramic vessels
  • Hellenistic (3rd-1st centuries BC) – Fortified tower-like structures and re-use of the pre-classical fortification wall
  • Early Roman (1st century BCE/1st century AD) – Remains of an elite Nabatean residence that contained a substantial amount of ceramics imported from Petra
  • Late Byzantine (5th-6th centuries AD) – Large mansion built outside the city’s fortification wall, consisting of several rooms constructed around a flagstone-paved courtyard and decorated with mosaic pavements
  • Early Islamic (7th-8th centuries AD) – Remodelling and repurposing of the Late Byzantine mansion
  • Late Ottoman (late 19th/early 20th century AD) – Houses built by Madaba’s modern inhabitants using the ancient remains as foundations

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