Posted by: Constance Gane | May 21, 2009

Getting Ready


Audrey Shaffer -- it's her 33rd archaeological season!!

Audrey Shaffer -- it's her 33rd archaeological season!!

Our ranks are gradually swelling as groups of students and volunteers continue arriving.  The pre-dig team is all here and began working immediately, some after little sleep. It’s a rugged life, but spirits are high and everyone is cheerfully pulling their weight (as far as I know! 🙂 ).


Randy and I have been spending most of our time driving into Amman and working with officials from the DoAJ (Dept. of Antiquities). As usual, it’s been an exciting adventure working with the local culture.

Today most of the team set off from Madaba to the Crown hotel where we have stayed in the past and where our dig tools are stored to move things over here to our new location in Madaba at the Mariam Hotel. Most of the tools have to be repaired, many items purchases, and a myriad of various tasks attended to.  

Chad & Jody Washburn

Chad & Jody Washburn



~more later~ have to go to the bank . . . 

 . . . later . . . . No luck at the banks in town, can’t open an account.

Jennifer Groves is doing a great job of organizing the purchase and repair of supplies. Paul Ray along with his son, Zach, and Owen Chesnut (PhD grad student) are working on getting the GPS/GIS system up and running. It’s all quite a production and very interesting from the inside perspective. Other grad students, including Christie and Chris Chadwick, Micah Johnson, and Chad Washburn have all been working alongside Jennifer.  The job of extracting our tools from the Crown has not been pleasant as the storage room has been flooded –AGAIN! Jody

Owen, Connie, Christie, Jody, Chad, Micah

Owen, Connie, Christie, Jody, Chad, Micah

Washburn, Administrative Assistant, has been working night and day to keep us organized and though exhausted, is always cheerful. What a difference to have her on the team! Our dear Audrey Shaffer (hospital administrator from Southern California) has arrived, this time from her work in China, to join us for yet another season. Audrey has been on some 32+ excavation seasons. She’s an incredible woman in her 70’s who defies aging! Others also joined the group last night.  Eva from Croatia, Thomas from Belgium, Dr. Tom from the US.  Tonight the main group of students from Andrews arrive. Randy and I will go to the airport to meet them.


We all continue to appreciate the cleanliness and friendliness of the Mariam Hotel and the staff here. The owner Charl Twal is a lovely person and I will write about him more later. Living here in Madaba is wonderful. We are within walking distance of the center of town which is really both a blessing and a shopper’s paradise.

Randy & Zach

Randy & Zach


Well, enough for now, must run to the DoAJ.  The team just returned from the Crown with horror stories of working while a flood of who knows what filled the store room.  . . .


  1. all of you doing great Job ,I will do my best as well when I come , I am glad that people like Madaba my home town which I did not see for one year by now, so now you know why I miss Madaba so much .also I am glad that Charl doing his best to make our stay comfortable –thank you Charl, thanks for all of you , thank you Connie for updating us with what is going on, some thing nice to know ,that Independence Day of Jordan falls on May 25,for that All ministries public departments and institutions will observe a holiday on Sunday, May 24 . let us wish Jordan stay free and safe for ever, wishing all great stay In Jordan .

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