Diederik Halbertsma

Postgraduate Research Student



Diederik was awarded a BA at Leiden University, and is currently a Postgraduate Research Student (MPhil) at the University of Liverpool. His main area of interest is Near Eastern archaeology, focussing on the Bronze and Iron Ages of the Levant. He has extensive archaeological fieldwork experience from working on various archaeological projects in the Netherlands, Cyprus, Israel, and Jordan. Furthermore, as a member of the Tell Damiyah project he investigates ritual and religion in the Late Iron Age Jordan Valley.

His current research focusses on the opportunities and challenges of working with legacy data, the digitisation of excavation archives, and the (re-)interpretation of archaeological stratigraphies, architecture, and assemblages. His case study is the important Bronze to Iron Age site of Tell Deir ‘Alla, in the Central Jordan Valley, of which he has inherited the 1960’s archive.

Research Interests

Thesis Title

"Revisiting Tell Deir Alla: the earliest Iron Age deposits"

Tell Deir ‘Alla, Jordan, was first excavated from 1960 to 1967 by Dr H. J. Franken, of Leiden University. The excavations revealed layers dating to the transition between the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages, until then hardly excavated. Important finds from these layers included a series of mud-brick installations, which have been associated with industrial scale bronze production. These have since been used in a variety of archaeological debates, ranging from the presence of ‘Sea Peoples’ in the Central Jordan Valley to ‘King Solomon’s foundries’.

While the sequence was published in the late ‘60’s, it was limited to a generalised discussion of the stratigraphy, as well as a study of the pottery. Much more in-depth information is present in the raw excavation data. By analysing this old excavation archive from a modern perspective, the role of Tell Deir ‘Alla during this poorly understood period can be re-evaluated.

Research Funding