In the Field: Surveying Petroglyphs in Jordan

This summer, incoming Museum Studies student Meghan Grizzle worked with Professor Sandra Olsen in Jordan. She shares her favorite memories here.

While in Jordan, I surveyed petroglyphs in the Black Desert with Dr. Mahdi Alzoubi and Dr. Sandra Olsen. Dr. Alzoubi specializes in reading and transcribing Ancient Arabic from the petroglyphs. The work that we did will go toward Dr. Alzoubi’s current research on petroglyphs in the Black Desert. My time was far too short in Jordan, but I will be planning a trip to go back.

Megan standing in front of the Treasury at Petra, JordanDuring my visit to Jordan, I was able check a big item off on my bucket list: visiting Petra. Petra is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, which was built by the Nebataeans. If you are familiar with Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, you will recognize the iconic Treasury of Petra. Having an archaeology background, seeing and being at Petra was a dream come true.

I was also able to see Wadi Rum, also known as The Valley of the Moon. It is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern Jordan. Wadi Rum is home to a large amount of rock art. We also took a trip to MUSE student Meghan Grizzle and her guide riding camels at PetraAqaba (the Red Sea), which is famous for Lawrence of Arabia. And, I got to ride a camel in the desert at Petra!

With a master’s in Museum Studies, I would love to work in the field with archaeology and in the lab or repository curating the artifacts which have been excavated from sites. I believe work in this area will be crucial. From personal experience, there is little communication between the field and the work done in the repository. Work like this will hopefully help with the current curation crisis.


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