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New exhibition at Jordan Museum offers ‘mirror’ into Kingdom’s cultural history

By Saeb Rawashdeh - Jul 03,2019 - Last updated at Jul 03,2019

HRH Princess Sumaya at the inauguration of the exhibition titled 'Tall Zira‘a — Mirror of Jordan’s History’ with Jordanian and German stakeholders at The Jordan Museum on Monday (Photo courtesy of The Jordan Museum)

AMMAN — Marking the 20th anniversary of His Majesty King Abdullah’s Accession to the Throne, an exhibition titled "Tall Zira’a — Mirror of Jordan’s History" was launched at The Jordan Museum on Monday.

The event was attended by HRH Princess Sumaya, who is also vice president of The Jordan Museum’s board of trustees, as well as by German Ambassador to Jordan Birgitta Siefker-Eberle and local and international scholars.

“It is often all too easy to forget, or to underestimate, the contribution of other ages and civilisations, but an exhibition such as this allows us to celebrate the shared nature of the human story that has made us who we are today,” Princess Sumaya said at the exhibition’s inauguration.  

“Indeed, it helps us to reveal a little more of the largely unknown tale of mankind’s cultural evolution on Earth,” the Princess said.

Tall Zira’a itself has a long history of occupation going back to the Early Bronze Age (3200 BC) and continuing until the early Islamic periods, noted Professor Dieter Viewenger, who has been exploring the site since 2004.  He added that the site, located in northern Jordan, is one of the main projects of the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology (GPIA), which co-organised this exhibition with The Jordan Museum and the Department of Antiquities.

The GPIA acts as a point of cooperation between German, Jordanian and international researchers, Viewenger added.

“Jordan is a country with very rich history, and as every country with such a long history, Jordan’s cultural heritage sites shape the identity of its people,” said Siefker-Eberle, stressing the long and fruitful cooperation between Jordanian and German academic institutions in the field of archaeology during the last 65 years.

“Archaeology is also a science capable of contributing to the solutions of some of [the]present [day’s] pressing problems,” the ambassador said, adding that the exhibition was a result of cross-border cultural cooperation.

“This wonderful exhibition represents a vital and enlightening opportunity to consider our long and diverse heritage and to reimagine our place in the world,” said Princess Sumaya, emphasising Jordan’s historical roots as a crossroads of ideas.

Organisers said that the exhibition will begin on Wednesday and last three months, with objects divided under the themes of “Cult and Religion”, “Crafts and Innovation” and “Cultural Contacts”.

The GPIA and the Biblical-Archaeological Institute Wuppertal have been conducting archaeological work at Tell Zira’a since 2001. 

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