Latest News on WAC-7

Latest News on WAC-7

Update 18th January December, 2013

WAC-7 Media Release
Archaeologist and Divers Unite to Discover New Rock Art

Divers at an ecolodge in West Papua have been instrumental in the discovery of new rock art from a lost civilisation.

Divers from the Misool Eco Resort spotted the previously unreported rock art and contacted Jean-Michel Chazine, a research engineer from theFrench National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS-France)three years ago to survey the discovery.

Jean-Michel Chazine presented his research at the international World Archaeology Congress in Jordan this week and commented “It is a small paradise for archaeologists. The paintings are very ornate and beautiful.”

The recent second survey of a new cluster of paintings upon cliffs sinking in the ocean in the Misool islands archipelago has provided new insights. Seven new sites, which enhanced already the total of sites to thirteen, have been discovered in the vicinity of the previous located sites. These new sites present also a large number of hands stencils, which would appear, apart two cases, in all painted places.

The other confirmation in content and expression concerns the subject of the paintings, which are in majority related to the sea fauna. Tuna, sharks, dolphins and general more or less
large fishes’ features compose the main core of representations. Being represented in majority up or down in a vertical position, they would obviously correspond to a basic symbolic figure.
Many signs, dots, patches, thin or bold lines circling cupules, are also scattered within paintings.

That extension of the number of ornate cliffs was important enough to study the sorting of the different paintings, but permitted moreover to elaborate a preliminary inductive
procedure of discovery of ornate sites.

Practically, upon all the surveyed cases, we could observe that 11 had some common features sufficient for determining the probability of the presence of paintings. These common
features are numbered 3 to 4 and would be:

  • a large and rather high cliff;
  • a cavity, cave, overhang or hole around the foot of the cliff;
  • a main coloured (red-yellow to red-brown) wide strip pouring out, or reaching down to the cavity;
  • a (facultative) step-bank (coral or karst platform) at the foot.

It has been verified that in every case, when the four (or even three) parameters are present, paintings are also present, whatever the state of rocks surface. If one only of the combination of parameters is missing, so does the paintings.

The interpretation of such a selection of parameters is still open, but the combination of a large coloured strip automatically associated to a “cavity” permitting, inducing -provoking- the action of painting, may be interpreted minimally as a strong chtonian, say fertility or maternity symbolism. Decipheration of sexual gender using has already shown that there were also female hand stencils scattered around these places.

Jean-Michel Chazine stated “Interestingly, many of the works have been over-painted with beautiful red coral and I believe it provides clues to the place being for ceremonies dedicated to fertility and reproduction process.”

Over 1,000 participants from seventy countries have been at WAC-7 in Jordan sharing scientific information about archaeology and cultural heritage. Held once every four years, the World Archaeological Congress will run until Friday, 18 January and the patron for WAC-7 is King Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein of Jordan. Former patrons include Prince Charles, Nelson Mandela and Harriet Mayor Fulbright.


Photos: Jean-Michel Chazine at WAC-7 in Jordan this week.
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Update 17th January December, 2013

WAC-7 Media Release
Archaeologists Converge on Jordan for WAC-7

The world’s leading international conference for archaeologists kicked off at the Dead Sea in Jordan on Monday with archaeologists from seventy countries taking part in the Seventh World Archaeological Congress (WAC-7).

At the Opening Address, His Royal Highness Prince Al Hassan Bin Talal welcomed attendees stating “You are meeting at the cradle of civilisation, the roots of ideas” and that “our colective heritage is important.”

He went on to advise the audience “Twelve museums have been destroyed in Syria. We need to work together to revive a concept of a regional heritage site.”

Over 1,000 participants will spend the next week at WAC-7 sharing scientific information about archaeology and cultural heritage.

Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress, said on the decision to host the Congress in the Middle East for the first time “Jordan’s cultural heritage is of great significance to the world. We are delighted to be holding an international conference in Jordan at this time as it recognises Jordan’s stability but also sends a message about the world’s confidence in this stability.”

WAC-7 will run until Saturday, 18 January and the patron for WAC-7 is King Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein of Jordan.


Photo: Professor Smith with HRH Prince Al Hassan Bin Tal at WAC-7.
Photo Credit: Eli Jenkins

WAC-7 Media Release
Archaeologists Warned World Heritage Under Threat

Archaeologists from around the globe were told that UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention was under serious threat at the launch of the 7th World Archaeological Congress (WAC-7) at the Dead Sea in Jordan on Sunday night.

In her keynote address Professor Lynn Meskell, Director of the Stanford Archaeology Center, expressed concern that the agendas of individual states is a threat to protecting world heritage.

“This is the only international instrument we have for safeguarding the world’s heritage. However, the Convention is currently experiencing a crisis on several fronts ­ financial, organizational and political ­ that threaten its mission and its effectiveness to protect and preserve.Professor Meskell told the 500 strong audience.

The UN Convention designates World Heritage Sites, which include Stonehenge, Statue of Liberty, Machu Picchu and the Pyramids.

UNESCO was plunged into crisis in late 2011 following the decision to grant Palestine full membership and the subsequent freezing of US funds, which made up 22% of UNESCO’s regular budget. US legislation prohibits funding to any UN agency that grants full membership to any group that does not have “internationally recognized attributes” of statehood.

The World Archaeological Congress is the international conference for archaeologists and is held every four years. WAC-7 has 1,200 participants from 70 countries attending and runs until Saturday, 18 January. The patron for WAC-7 is King Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein of Jordan.



Update 10th January December, 2013

The road to the airport is now open. The road to Petra is currently blocked.  It may not clear for a couple of days.  It is snowing in Amman.  It is cool at the Dead Sea, but not really cold.  Better weather is predicted for next week.

People are arriving and our buses are picking them up.  There is a team of WAC-7 student volunteers at the airport, 24 hours a day until 10am Monday.  They will direct you to the next bus.

Those people who are eligible to buy visas at the airport can do so for 20 Jordanian Dinars (about $US30).  This has to be paid in cash, even though the sign says that Visa cards are accepted. There is a cash machine and currency exchange booth inside this part of the airport.

People are arriving in the hotels.  All is going smoothly.  Internet, breakfast and taxes have been included in all Congress hotel rates.  At the Dead Sea Spa Hotel there is one password for all conference participants.  It is DSSH.

People on tours will be contacted individually.  We pay have to change the order of the 3 day pre-Congress tour to Petra, given the snow.


Update 9th January December, 2013

Please note the following updated information regarding WAC-7 details, looking forward to seeing you all in Jordan soon!

WAC-7 Online
Sessions of WAC-7 will be streamed live on the internet. However, we understand if some presenters do not wish to have their presentation streamed live.  We have developed a release form which will need to be signed by presenters who wish to be a part of WAC’s live streaming. WAC-7 live streaming does not preclude individuals from uploading material to YouTube and making it freely available, however, any footage recorded should be done so only after appropriate approvals have been acquired from the presenter.

Press Releases
People who wish to prepare a press release regarding the results of their research should email Jo Smith on

Buses will be meeting all international flights into Amman, from 10am, 10th January to 10am, 14th January. WAC-7 bus passes will be available for people who want to go to Madaba or the Dead Sea. Bus passes will cost $US 80/$60 concession, and include return transfers from the airport to the Dead Sea, as well as unlimited travel at scheduled times between the Dead Sea, Madaba and Amman. A one-way taxi fare from the airport to the Dead Sea is approximately $US 60-80, depending on the time of day. Students from low income countries will be issued WAC-7 bus passes without charge. Students from high income countries will be charged at the concession rate.

Taxi services are available for people travelling to Amman.

Return fares on daily buses from Amman and Madaba to the Dead Sea are without charge.

It is cold in Amman and snowing near Petra.  However, the weather forecast for the Dead Sea, 13-18th January has highs of around 28-30 degrees and lows of around 16-18 degrees. More information can be found at:


Update 23rd December, 2012

WAC-7 online:


Update 1st December, 2012

Approaches to Material of the Past in Jordan
Shatha Abu-Khafajah, Elizabeth Konwest, Dru McGill. Click here to read


Update: 10th November, 2012

Information on WAC-7 tours is on the website. These tours are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit archaeological sites in Jordan, including key World Heritage sites, with the people who have studied them over many, many years. The tour progam has been prepared to accommodate the diverse interests of archaeologists from around the world and to take advantage of specialist knowledge of these extraordinary archaeological sites.

International experts who will be sharing their specialist knowledge on the WAC-7 tours include Dr Douglas Comer, author of Tourism at Petra: Driver to Development or Destruction and the Petra Interpretive Plan; Dr Jacques Siegne, formerly of the Insititut Francaise du Proche Orient, and director of excavations at  Jerash; Professor John Grattan, of Aberystwyth University and Editor of the Journal of Archaeological Science; Distinguished Professor Tom Levy, Norma Kershaw Chair at the University of California, San Diego; and Dr. Mohammad Najjar, UC San Diego Levantine Archaeology Laboratory.

Proposals for papers can be submitted until 15th November.

Sponsorship offers have been issued.  Over 200 people are receiving sponsored support to attend WAC-7.

The Dead Sea Spa Hotel is booking out.

WAC Council Meetings
Meetings of the current WAC Council will be held two days before the Congress on Saturday, 12th and Sunday 13th January.  Meetings of the incoming WAC Council will be held two days after the Congress on Saturday, 19th and Sunday 20th January.

To assist participants, we have sourced cheap airfares from major centres to Amman.

WAC-7 participants do not need to go through an external visa application process. They should send Mohammad Debajah their Congress registration number, a scan of the first four pages of their passport and a letter from their institution confirming that they work or study there. Any queries about this process should be directed to the Academic Secretary of WAC-7, Talal Akasheh.

The countries of citizens who can get their visa when they arrive at the Queen Alia International Airport are on the WAC-7 website.

Participants should be aware that some airlines will not let passengers on the plane unless they have visa. Please check with your airline.

Airport Transfers
On 11th, 12th and 13th January WAC-7 will be providing transport from the airport to the Dead Sea, Madaba and Amman.  There will be a small charge for this service.

Return transport to the airport will be available on 19th, 20th and 21st January, again at a small charge.

Daily Buses
Daily buses will run between WAC-7 Congress hotels at Madaba and the Dead Sea. There will be a daily bus from Amman. The cost of these buses is included in Congress registration.


Claire Smith


News article from Anthropology News:

Approaches to Material of the Past in Jordan: Highlighting the Seventh World Archaeological Congress

By Shatha Abu-Khafajah, Elizabeth Konwest & Dru McGill


Arrangements Update, 14th September, 2012

Arrangements Update, 7th October, 2012

Accommodation Up-Date

The Dead Sea
The Congress hotel at the Dead Sea is the Dead Sea Spa Hotel. This lovely four-star hotel is providing special conference special rates as well as dedicated support for participants from low-income countries and Indigenous groups. Every room that is booked through this system will be matched by a substantial in-kind donation by the Dead Sea Spa Hotel for a supported participant at WAC-7. Congress rates include breakfast.

We are negotiating with other local hotels in the Dead Sea area.  We will advertise them when we are able to obtain an agreement that includes sponsorship for supported participants at WAC-7.


We have two Congress hotels at Madaba. Both are giving special conference rates that includes sponsorship for supported participants at WAC-7.

We are negotiating with other local hotels in Madaba.  We will advertise them when we are able to obtain an agreement that includes sponsorship for supported participants at WAC-7.

Mosaic City Hotel
The Mosaic City Hotel is an intimate family hotel, that is located in the very heart of Madaba, within short walking distance from the Church of St. George which houses the famous mosaic map of the Holy Land. This hotel offers comfortable guest rooms richly designed with materials of good quality only found in true luxury hotels.  Beautifully appointed accommodations, each room in the hotel is smoke-free and is equipped with complimentary high speed Internet access, minibar, heating and air conditioning system and is furnished with the utmost attention to detail.
Congress rates include a buffet breakfast.

A daily bus will run from the Mosaic City Hotel to the King Hussein Convention Center at the Dead Sea.


Pilgrims Guest House
This budget accommodation is located in the courtyard of the St. George’s Mosaic Church, which contains the 6th Century Mosaic Map of the Middle East. It is in the centre of the city of Madaba. The rooms at the Pilgrim’s Guest House are simply decorated and have a TV and a private bathroom with a shower. Each has a wardrobe, and some of the rooms have air-conditioning. There are a range of facilities available, including laundry and dry cleaning services.  Free Wi-Fi is available throughout.

Congress rates include a buffet breakfast.

A daily bus will run from Pilgrim’s Guest House to the King Hussein Convention Center at the Dead Sea.



We do not have conference hotels at Amman, which is located 80 kilometres from the Dead Sea.The list of hotels on the WAC-7 website is for information only. We will be supplying a daily bus from a central location in Amman to the Dead Sea venue.


Última actualización de la WAC-7

Acualizaciones, 14 de Septiembre del 2012

Actualizaciones, 7 de Octobre del 2012
Actualización del Hospedaje

The Dead Sea
El hotel que apoya al congreso en el área de “Dead Sea” es el  “Dead Sea Spa. Este encantador hotel, cuatro estrellas, está dando una tarifa y un apoyo especial a los participantes provenientes de países de bajos recursos y a la gente proveniente de algún grupo Indígena. Cada habitación que este reservada a través de este sistema, el Hotel “Dead Sea Spa”, dará una donación para apoyar a un participante de la WAC-7.   La tarifa de la reservación de una habitación para el congreso incluye desayuno.

Se está negociando con otros hoteles locales en el área de “Dead Sea”. Se anunciará estos convenios cuando se obtenga un acuerdo que incluya un patrocinador que apoye a los participantes de la WAC-7

Hay dos hoteles que apoyan al congreso en Madaba. Los dos darán una tarifa especial a los conferencistas cuyos patrocinadores también apoyaran a los participantes de la WAC-7.

Se está negociando con otros hoteles locales en el área de Madaba. Se anunciará estos convenios cuando se obtenga un acuerdo que incluya un patrocinador que apoye a los participantes de la WAC-7

Mosaic City Hotel
El Hotel “Mosaic City” es un hotel familiar que está localizado en el corazón de Madaba, a una distancia corta para caminar a la Iglesia de St. George cuya estructura tiene un mosaico del mapa de la Tierra Santa. Este hotel ofrece habitaciones confortables para sus huéspedes, decoradas con grandiosos materiales de buena calidad encontrados únicamente en hoteles de lujo. Cada hermosa habitación del hotel es área libre de NO-FUMAR, además están equipadas con acceso a Internet rápido, minibar, con un sistema de calefacción y aire acondicionado y muebles muy bien detallados y retocados. La tarifa de la reservación de una habitación para el congreso incluye un buffet en el desayuno.

Habrá un autobus que irá del Hotel “Mosaic City” al hotel sede del congreso “King Hussein Convention Center”, en el área del “Dead Sea”.


Pilgrims Guest House
El hotel está localizado en el patio de la Iglesia de “St. George Mosaic” cuyos decorativos componen el 6th Century Mosaic Map del Medio Este. Está en el centro de la ciudad de Madaba. Los cuartos en el Pilgrim’s Guest House tienen decoraciones simples, con televisión y un baño privado con regadera. Cada uno tiene un armario, y algunas habitaciones cuentan con aire acondicionado. Hay varios servicios disponibles como lavandería y tintorería (secado en seco). Internet con Wi-Fi disponible y gratuito. La tarifa de la reservación de una habitación para el congreso incluye el desayuno.

Habrá un autobus que irá del Hotel “Mosaic City” al hotel sede del congreso “King Hussein Convention Center”, en el área del “Dead Sea”.


No se cuenta con un hotel que apoye al congreso en el área de Amman. Este lugar está localizado a 80 kilómetros de “Dead Sea”. La lista de hoteles de la página de internet de la WAC-7 es sólo para dar información. El evento de la WAC-7 proporcionará diariamente un autobús del área central de Amman al la avenida de “Dead Sea”