Dr Bethany Walker is Professor of Islamic Archaeology at
the University of Bonn and the Director of the Research Unit of Islamic Archaeology and Co-Director of the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg of Mamluk Studies at the same institution.
A historically trained archaeologist and ceramicist, Walker directs multiple archaeological projects in Jordan and the region, and is a Board member of the American Center of Research in Amman. She is the senior and founding editor
of the Journal of Islamic Archaeology and co-editor of Equinox’s Monographs in Islamic Archaeology series.
Making a Home in Long-Abandoned Places:
A life-history of Tall Hisbān, Jordan
The resettlement of centuries-long abandoned towns, villages, and farmsteads across Bilād al-Shām in the 13th century CE is a demographic phenomenon that has yet to be explained. This lecture focuses on the occupational history of one particularly vibrant example of this phenomenon, the archaeological site of Tall Hisbān in central Jordan. Abandoned in the Abbasid period (10th century) and reoccupied suddenly three hundred years later, its life history is a fascinating one of migration, homeland- making, and resilience. In this lecture, we will investigate who the people were who came back to Hisbān in the last Ayyubid period, and what reasons brought them to this ruined place. We will trace the radical changes in the peopling and function of this site over the course of the Mamluk period.