Plants at Tall Hisban, Jordan

Stanley Beikmann (Agriculture)

Historical socio-economic and xeriscape plants at Tall Hisban, Jordan

Xeriscaping is a method of landscaping born out of necessity because of environmental extremes in regions of the U.S and the world.  Landscape architects have begun to explore the indigenous plants of such arid regions as the primary source with which to create landscape gardens for such environmental conditions. These plants exhibit a greater tolerance to temperature extremes and minimal rainfall than non-native, traditional landscape plants do.

This application seeks funding to allow the principal investigator and three student researchers to spend three weeks during the month of May, inventorying and identifying native and introduced plants in and around the archaeological site of Tall Hisban in Jordan. The team, which is part of the Jordan Field School, will photograph and document the characteristics of these plants and ultimately key out the plants to identify them, just as one might for a herbarium.

Three important outcomes are projected for the proposed research.

  • The project will allow us to ascertain the extent to which xeriscaping is practiced in the Hisban region today and its greater application of landscaping with xeriscape plants.
  • It will support and inform on-going archaeological research in and around the immense 2.2 million liter rock cut reservoir in Tall Hisban aimed at determining whether the existence of a “royal garden” at the site during the 10th century BC (the time of Solomon) may account for the presence of this installation.
  • The project will enable preparation of a master plan for a sustainable, low maintenance cultivated landscape garden inside the Tall Hisban Archaeological Park.