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ARCHAEOLOGY OF A FRONTIER

For the first time, after twenty years of scientific research carried out by the Archaeological Mission of thedraft_immagini_feb09_lowres-2_thumb
University of Florence, the exhibition reports on the medieval history of the keyregion of Transjordan, observed and
analysed from the special “observatory” of one of the most fascinating archaeological and monumental areas of the
eastern Mediterranean: the castle of Shawbak.
The archaeological site of Shawbak, already object of a plan of exploitation started by the Authorities of the
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is the core subject of the recent International Italian - Jordanian Agreement of
Scientific and Cultural Cooperation between the University of Florence and the Department of the Antiquities of
Jordan which integrates archaeological research, conservative restoration and exploitation.
During its non-linear history and by means of its historical oscillations, the fortified site of Shawbak succeeded
in representing the fortunes and the eclipses of a region whose role is often underestimated in comparison with its
greater neighbours, Egypt and Syria, even though it actively and relevantly affected both short and long-term historical
changes of this key-area of the Near East.
The Exhibition (and the related International Conference and volume of studies) intends to bring to the
attention of a large audience a happening regarding Transjordan regional identity which suggests to rely on the
profound historical meaning embedded in the surviving documents and monuments, analysed from a scientific
point of view: the medieval origins of contemporary Mediterranean culture.

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