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Gannon Receives US Dept. of State Grant to Fund Archaeological Museum Project in Jordan

Artistic rendering of museum's ground floor (Valeria Gaspari for the Studio Strati).

Artistic rendering of museum's ground floor (Valeria Gaspari for the Studio Strati).

Gannon University has received a $188,950 grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, the Cultural Antiquities Task Force, and the U.S. Embassy in Jordan that will be used to support the ongoing Madaba Regional Archaeological Museum Project, or MRAMP, in Jordan.

The MRAMP is an American-Italian-Jordanian collaborative effort to protect, restore and preserve the cultural heritage of the Madaba region by establishing a new Regional Archaeological Museum in the city of Madaba, Jordan, located just 20 miles south of Amman. The museum will display archaeological material from the numerous excavations in the Madaba region.

The grant will fund the project’s fourth phase, which will repurpose the current Madaba Museum into a repository and archival storage center for a collection of more than 14,000 artifacts. These artifacts were recovered from more than a dozen archaeological sites in the region, including the Gannon-sponsored Archaeological Expedition to Khirbat Iskander, which is directed by Suzanne Richard, Ph.D., distinguished professor in Gannon’s Department of History and Archaeology and the Department of Theology.

The grant will additionally create space for labs and equipment for the conservation of artifacts. It will also fund a study and research area. This phase is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 31, 2021.

Another grant, anticipated soon, will result in a new Museum Complex in downtown Madaba where this collection of artifacts will be displayed for study, research and public viewing. This phase will begin immediately after the completion of the archival center and the restoration of a number of ancient buildings. In an innovative design, the museum will be built above, encompass, and protect this restored complex of buildings.

MRAMP was founded in 2015 by Richard, who is also the founder and director of the Archaeological Museum Gallery and director of the Collins Institute for Archaeological Research at Gannon. Richard is a co-director of the MRAMP.

“This very significant grant is essential to preserving an important component of Jordan’s national heritage and helping to bring the Museum project to fruition ultimately. The grant reflects Gannon’s concern for cultural heritage preservation and, importantly, opens up service opportunities for students to prepare them to be global citizens,” Richard said. “As I get ready for yet another trip to Jordan to oversee the project, I am exhilarated and proud to be able to give back to the country where I have spent so much of my life.”

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