With the stroke of a pen, the director of La Sierra University's Center for Near Eastern Archaeology, Doug Clark, launched the development of a state-of-the-art museum in the ancient town of Madaba in Jordan. Clarks signature for accepting the more that 117,000 dollars from the Sustainable Cultural Heritage allowed long-held plans to be set in motion.
The Madaba Regional Archaeological Museum and the Madaba Archaeological Park West will showcase the region's monuments from the 2th to the 19th centuries. Clark will lead a multi-national team of archaeologists and antiquities officials from the United States, Italy, and Jordan to further preserve Jordan's rich, cultural past. The museum will also house exhibits from numerous excavations in the broader region, including those headed by La Sierra University.
In the early 2000s he was tapped by a former Jordan Department of Antiquities Director to help digitize the archives of the existing museum in Madaba and train museum staff. The idea to create the museum was formed after Clark held several meetings with a group of archeologists, artists and scholars who wanted to find a way to preserve the region's history.
The city of Madaba is mentioned several times in the Old Testament, especially when the Israelites arrived in the region after the Exodus from Egypt. Clark said, "Biblical archaeology contributes to the recreation of biblical times and culture, informing our reading of the Bible and providing an essential component of Bible study, if we want to understand and appreciate the Bible in its original context." [photo: Barbara Porter (ACOR)]