Desert Tombs: Recent Research into the Bronze Age and Iron Age Cairn Burials of Jebel Qurma, North-East Jordan


  • Peter Akkermans Professor of Near eastern Archaeology
  • Merel L. Brüning
  • Monique Arntz
  • Sarah A. Inskip
  • Keshia A.N. Akkermans


Harra, Jordan, Burial cairns, Bronze Age, Iron Age


Burial cairns dot the basaltic uplands of north-eastern Jordan, yet these graves have never been investigated systematically. This situation is now changing. Current excavations in the Jebel Qurma region, close to the borders of Jordan and Saudi Arabia, have focused on the numerous cairns as well as their complex histories of use. This project identified different types of burial, including ring cairns, round and apsidal tower tombs, and cist graves. Radiocarbon dates, OSL dates, and grave inventories date the cairns to the Bronze Age and, in particular, the Iron Age. Through extensive survey and excavation in the area, this paper brings to light entirely new insights into the mortuary practices of Jordan’s north-eastern badia.


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How to Cite

Akkermans, P., Brüning, M. L., Arntz, M., Inskip, S. A., & Akkermans, K. A. (2020). Desert Tombs: Recent Research into the Bronze Age and Iron Age Cairn Burials of Jebel Qurma, North-East Jordan. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 50(1), 1–17. Retrieved from