Hisban Back to the key sites map

Tall Hisban
Øystein LaBianca

Tall Hisban was first excavated under the banner of the Heshbon Expedition by a consortium of universities led by biblical scholars from Andrews University in Michigan, USA (1968-1976). In

1982 its leaders founded the Madaba Plains Project (MPP). In 1996, MPP archaeologists returned to the site to expand research into its Islamic history and to strengthen local community engagement with its preservation and presentation. A key institutional partner in this effort has been the Islamic Archaeology Unit at the University of Bonn, Germany. Major finds:

  • Late Bronze Age – Traditional Amorite stronghold, not represented in archaeological finds.
  • Early Iron Age – Royal administrative center most notably represented by a large reservoir.
  • Late Iron Age – Ammonite provincial administrative center attested mostly in loose finds.
  • Persian Period – Town in slow decline, attested mostly in loose finds.
  • Hellenistic Period – Fortified farmstead with four corner towers and perimeter walls.
  • Roman Period – Market town with plaza and stairs leading to temple crowning the acropolis.
  • Byzantine Period – Religious center (bishopric) represented by two basilica churches.
  • Umayyad Period – Market town with basilica churches continuing in use.
  • Abbasid Period – Military garrison, represented in pottery and food preparation area on summit.
  • Ayyubid Period – Madrasa or center for study of Islamic law (exact location still unknown).
  • Mamluk Period – Military garrison and regional capital attested in remains of governor’s residence.
  • Ottoman Period – Rural hamlet represented in farm houses on western slope.

Hisban Project website

Archaeological Park on Facebook

A short film about Hisban