Dear Colleagues and Friends of the Madaba Plains Project:
This is to invite you to join us in celebrating 50 years since the beginning of Andrews University’s Heshbon Expedition at Tall Hisban. That project spawned the Madaba Plains Project (MPP), which includes on-going excavations at Tall Hisban, Tall al-Umayri, and Tall Jalul. MPP is the longest continuous such collaboration in Jordan, and its legacy includes an illustrious list of veterans that includes three former directors of ACOR (Hank Thompson, James Sauer, and Bert de Vries), former directors of the Department of Antiquities (Ghazi Bisheh, Fawwaz al Krayyshah), and a long list of professors of archaeology and related fields here in Jordan, in the United States and Canada, and throughout the world.
We are especially proud of the well over a dozen veterans who got their dig experience with the original Heshbon Expedition and went on to become dig directors in their own right. Some of the names that come to mind include Fawzi Zayyadine, Ghazi Bisheh, Bastiaan Van Elderen, Lawrence Geraty, Bert de Vries, Oystein LaBianca, Larry Herr, Nabil Khairy, Lutfi Ostah, Udo Worschech, Doug Clark, Zeidan Kafafi, Harold Mare, Mahmoud Rusan, Robin Brown, Vincent Clark, John Davis, Tom Parker, and Bjornar Storfjell. To this list we could add a dozen more dig directors and scholars who got their experience in the years after this original expedition with the Madaba Plains Project at Tall al Umayri or Tall Jalul. In all, we estimate that our MPP consortium has mounted well over 50 separate digs in Jordan, and in the process we have enabled, we estimate, close to two thousand students, volunteers and professors to have a dig experience in Jordan. I know of no one among this large crowd that has not returned home as an ambassador for the people and the country of Jordan.
Please see the below invitation for more information about our planned celebrations. We would be greatly honored were you to be able to come and spend part of the day or the whole day with us on this special day. The event will be attended by all five founding directors of the Madaba Plains Project, including Lawrence T. Geraty, Larry Herr, Oystein LaBianca, Douglas Clark and Randall Younker.
Kind regards, Oystein S. LaBianca