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Conserving the Nabataean Temple at Khirbet et-Tannur

This project will be a partnership between Dr Marlena Whiting and UNESCO’s Amman Office in Jordan to provide specialised research-based input into UNESCO’s plan for the conservation and presentation of the Nabataean temple sanctuary at Khirbet et-Tannur, Jordan (3rd century BC – 4th century AD). With its fascinating evidence of the religious culture of the Nabataeans (who also built Petra), such as its famous zodiac, vegetation goddess, and busts of astral deities, Khirbet et-Tannur is amongst the most important archaeological sites in the Tafileh region in southern Jordan. The site’s striking hilltop location alone, with its magnificent views of the surrounding landscape of biblical Edom, recommends it to visitors.

This partnership will enable UNESCO’s Amman Office to formulate a joint strategic plan for large-scale funding geared towards the improved site presentation of the sanctuary as part of an integrated plan for enhancing archaeological tourism through community participation in the Tafileh region. The input of specialised knowledge provided by Dr Whiting will ensure that the site’s importance will be properly demonstrated to donors and planning agencies, and the educational material she will produce will be available in museums and online to encourage interest in the site.