Pella is the Classical name for the site that is listed as one of the Decapolis cities of Roman Palestine. Located beside a perennial spring in the eastern foothills of the north Jordan valley human occupation in the region around Pella stretches back over half a million years and the site itself has been continuously occupied from around 8000 BC to the present. As a result, the tell at Pella contains over 20 metres of occupation debris and has been a constant treasure trove of finds that I have been fortunate to photograph since 2007.

The site has been excavated by the University of Sydney over the past thirty-eight years and has unearthed many important discoveries, including early stages of human settlement in Neolithic housing (ca. 6000 BC) to massive Middle Bronze Age mud-brick city walls and Middle to Late Bronze Age temples and Palatial residences (ca. 1800-1200 BC). The Classical period includes large areas of a Hellenistic city (destroyed by war in 80 BC) and a Roman Imperial city (ca. 150 AD). Later periods include three Byzantine churches and a Bishop’s palace (ca. 550 AD); an Umayyad Islamic city destroyed by an earthquake (ca. 750 AD); an Abbasid caravanserai (ca. 950 AD); and a Mameluke mosque and administrative compound (ca. 1350 AD); and many other finds that bring Pella’s history up to the present day.

2015_PEL_A_3597. Assembly of Iron Age vessels from destruction layer in Area XXXII F
2015_Pel_4468 (left), 2015_Pel_4465 (right - opposite face). Lady in Blue - Astate figurine. Area XXXII HH.
2009_Pel_2685 (left), 2009_Pel_2693, (right - opposite face). Janus Figurine
From Trench XXX11 AA.  Iron Age I (c. 1150–1050 BC)
2009_03Pel_033. Sunrise over Pella though orange dust storm.
2007_Pel_1354. The main tell with compound behind from Tell Husn in 2007
2009_Pel_S_3350. XXXII AA. Mudbrick wall burnt to orange in destruction fire above intersecting layers of pits. (Steps are for excavation access).
2009_Pel_0443. XXXII BB. Mud brick storeroom in destruction layers surrounded by evidence of burning.
2007_Pel_Scenic_1197. The massive Late Bronze Age temple walls with the Byzantine Cathedral Church in the background
2007_Pel_Scenic_0023. Byzantine Cathedral Church with a Roman period temple below from Tell Husn
2013_Pel_S_0046. The main tell with compound behind and looking across the Jezebel Valley from Tell Husn in 2013
2017_Pel_E_200
Late afternoon light skims over Jebel Sartaba and Tell Husn to highlight the end of the valley and an old tree in it's winter coat
2017_Pel_E_199
Set in the cleft of rocks below Jebel Sartaba, the late afternoon light sets on an old tree

2017_Pel_E_191
Overlooking the Jordan Valley this sentinel sits on the slopes of Jebel Sartaba
2017_Pel_E_228
Sunset over Jebel Sartaba
2009_Pel_S_3345
Ben Churcher recording in his dig book for trench XXXII BB
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