Introduction

Fig. 1 The 1999 team

The first contact between Dr. Hamdan Taha, the Director General of the Department of Antiquities of Palestine, and the author from Gothenburg University, Sweden, concerning the renewed exploration of Tell el-’Ajjul was established in Rome in 1998. A common interest in the protection and exploration of this so important but endangered site led to the development of a considerable understanding. During the late summer of 1999, a preliminary agreement was reached at Ramallah, on the Westbank, on collaboration between a Palestinian party and the author in promoting the exploration and preservation of Tell el-’Ajjul. Dr. Moain Sadeq, the Director General of the Department of Antiquities of Gaza showed great enthusiasm for a future joint field project at Tell el-’Ajjul. He expressed a willingness to represent the Palestinian party in this joint project in collaboration with the author. This was agreed to by Dr. H. Taha. Funds for 1999 were mainly provided by the Swedish authority SAREC, which is the research branch of Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. The first short field season at Tell el-’Ajjul started on 20 September and finished on 10 October. The joint team of 1999 included the two directors, Peter M. Fischer and Moain Sadeq, the surveyors Muwafaq Al-Bataineh and Adel El-Hassani, and the archaeologist Hikmat Ta’ani, who also acted as the foreman of the local workers (Fig. 1).

 

 

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