Jerash / Gerasa, Jordan
Improving the Visitor Experience at Jerash Archaeological Site
diverse images of the Jerash archaeological site and its extensive material heritage
With the successful outcome of the Amman Citadel project, I was contracted to lead the interdisciplinary team for the development of the Visitor Presentation and Site Improvement Plan in 2011. The following project principles established the framework for action priorities:
- Maximize the use of existing built resources and minimize new structural work
- Achieve optimum visual impact in short term, with least physical disruption to site operations
- Streamline arrivals, guide services, site circuit options and transfers
- Prioritize work for conservation to protect and preserve authenticity and integrity and increase visitor safety
- Adopt site policies to compliment the future Site Management Plan
The project was initiated by the USAID Siyaha Tourism Development Project, and a Working Committee was established with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Department of Antiquities. Directly arising from the planning efforts:
- Any site work in conflict with the conservation goals was immediately halted
- Designs for the revitalization of the obsolete Visitor Centre were completed
- The central, yet underutilized Ottoman Building, was repurposed enabling visitor access
- New site orientation and trilingual interpretation signs were designed in collaboration with L'Institut Français de Proche-Orient formed a part of the defined site circuits.
The implementation of site work started in 2012 (and on-going), and interests expanded to include participation of the Jordan Ministry of Public Works, the Handicraft Association and the Jerash Municipality.
With the completion of the working plan, I was also contracted to develop Standard Operating Procedures to facilitate the adoption of best practices for site care.