NEAF | ‘Dispatches from the Trenches’ Saturday series – School of Humanities NEAF | ‘Dispatches from the Trenches’ Saturday series – School of Humanities

NEAF | ‘Dispatches from the Trenches’ Saturday series

Dr James Fraser | 2 lectures
Lecture 1: Digging for oil in the Wadi Rayyan: New discoveries at a Bronze Age olive oil “factory” in Jordan.

As soon as Jordan lifted its COVID restrictions earlier this year, a team from the British Museum jumped on a plane to resume excavations at Khirbet Ghozlan. This talk presents new discoveries concerning the production of olive oil in Bronze Age Jordan (c.2600-2000 BCE), and the implications for understanding how rural communities survived during a so-called period of collapse.

Lecture 2: Shattered Glass of Beirut: Responding to the 2020 Port Explosion in Lebanon

On August 4 2020, Beirut was rocked by one of the largest explosions in history. A violent shockwave ripped through the city when nearly 3000 tons of improperly stored ammonium nitrate ignited in the port. At least 218 people were killed and 7000 injured. The Archaeology Museum at the American University of Beirut (AUB) was one of the many cultural institutions affected. A display case containing 74 glass vessels was smashed against the floor. Thousands of shards of ancient glass were mixed with fragments from the display case and surrounding windows. This talk tells the story of a collaboration between the AUB and British Museum to reconstruct eight of these vessels, which are currently displayed in a special exhibition in London.


Dr James Fraser is Curator for the Ancient Levant and Anatolia at the British Museum in London. He has worked on archaeological projects in Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kashmir, Greece, Cambodia, Australia and the Solomon Islands. He received his PhD at the University of Sydney in 2016. In 2018, he published the monograph Dolmens in the Levant about megalithic tomb monuments from the Bronze Age, and the book was awarded the G. Ernest Wright Award for Best Archaeological Publication. Jamie currently directs a British Museum dig investigating a 4,500 year-old olive oil factory at Khirbet Ghozlan in Jordan.

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Please note: a minimum of 20 attendees is required for each lecture for this series to run – our upper limit is 300 per lecture.

All lectures will be delivered by Zoom.

Once payment is received a receipt, Meeting ID and non-transferrable password will be sent to you.
On admission to the Zoom lecture, participants will be matched to names of financial participants. Please ensure your zoom log-in screen name correctly identifies you. If you are dialling in via telephone, please ensure the number listed when booking on our website is the same used when connecting via telephone.

Our Introduction will start at 9.55am.
The lecture will start at 10am and the second lecture will begin at 11.05am and finish at 12 noon.
There will be opportunity for questions following the lectures, time permitting.

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Hosted by the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation (NEAF)




Oct 15 2022


10:00 am - 12:00 pm




+61 2 9351 4151

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