Umayri Back to the key sites map

Tall al-`Umayri
Douglas R. Clar

Tall al-`Umayri is part of the Madaba Plains Project. Excavated from 1984 to 2016 by a consortium of institutions led for the most part by La Sierra University in Riverside, CA, USA, the site is famous for well-preserved remains from the Early Bronze Age (ca. 3000 BC) through Hellenistic times (ca. 2 nd century BC):
• Early Bronze Age – Megalithic dolmen burial with the rarely found remains of 25 individuals and a large, unfortified settlement
• Middle Bronze Age – Massive fortification system on the western slopes
• Late Bronze Age – Large temple complex of five rooms, including a holy place with a sacred niche in one wall enclosing five standing stones representing deities with a goddess (Asherah?) at the center and numerous clay figurines to accompany votive offerings
• Early Iron Age – An important period at the site, boasting an impressive defense system and a neighborhood of houses including the best preserved “four-room” house in the southern Levant and one of the earliest
• Late Iron Age – Domestic buildings surrounding a large structure likely used as an administrative center for distributing agricultural products from regional farmsteads, plus the now famous thimble-sized “Baalis” seal impression from the Ammonite king at the beginning of the 6 th century BC

• Persian Period – Several seals listing “Ammon” as a Persian province
• Hellenistic Period – An extensive agricultural complex