Prof. Dr. Zbigniew T. Fiema

Zbigniew Tomasz Fiema ist principal investigator at the Department of World Cultures at the University of Helsinki. His professional interests – the archaeology and history of the Near East in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods – concentrate on Petra, Jordan, the capital of the ancient kingdom of the Nabataeans. His Topoi research fellowship relates to his current participation in the Northeast Petra Project, (NEPP). The project is sponsored by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and is co-directed by Stephan G. Schmid, Bernhard Kolb and himself. Fiema’s Topoi tenure is devoted to the analysis of data provided by the three seasons of NEPP fieldwork, in order to prepare a major presentation for publication in Journal of Roman Archaeology. The manuscript is in the final stages of preparation. Although the information exclusively derives from the surface prospection, the results permit to formulate a hypothesis concerning the nature of occupation in that part of Petra. The site can be defined as a large architectural complex of a palatial type. The unique, isolated location of the site, the wealth of the architectural decoration and the monumentality of design, which all favourably compare with other Hellenistic-Early Roman palaces in the East, indicate that the site was most probably the residential area of the Nabataean kings, dated to the early 1st century A.D.


Further Activities

Once Zbigniew Fiema’s JRA article is completed, he intends to be involved in the following activities related to his Topoi tenure:

  • the participation in the 4th fieldwork season of the Northeastern Petra Project (March-April, 2014);
  • the completion of the entry PETRA, to appear in Reallexikon für Antike und  Christentum. To be published by Nordrhein-Westfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Künste.