acor1.gif (1583 bytes)


History and Future of ACOR

acorb2.jpg (10401 bytes)


The American Center of Oriental Research in Amman, Jordan, is a private, non-profit academic institution dedicated to promoting research and publication in the fields of archaeology, anthropology, history, languages, biblical studies, Arabic, Islamic studies and other aspects of Near Eastern studies. 

Since it was founded in 1968, ACOR has served as a liaison between Jordanian institutions both academic and governmental (such as the Department of Antiquities), on the one hand, and international scholars interested in working in the Arab world, on the other hand. ACOR provides advice, coordination, equipment, research facilities and living and meeting space for scholars in an environment that is both academically exciting and socially congenial. 

Over the years more than 140 archaeological and anthropological field projects have been affiliated with ACOR. These projects have been instrumental in uncovering Jordan's wealth of prehistoric and historic remains. ACOR scholars have been involved in some of the most significant discoveries in the area, including the unique cache of Byzantine papyrus scrolls found at Petra as well as the Neolithic sculptures from 'Ain Ghazal, the oldest of their kind ever found. 

ACOR, in cooperation with the Jordanian Department of Antiquities, is also involved in the excavation and restoration of several sites. Current projects in this program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), are the excavation and restoration of a Byzantine church at Petra and the creation of an archaeological park in Madaba. These projects will help to increase tourism, which is important to the Jordanian economy. ACOR is committed to research which focuses on all phases of Jordan's past and to the preservation of sites which are of particular significance to her its and varied cultural heritage. 

Training, education and public service are among the most important activities at ACOR, a place where Jordanians, Americans and others work together on a daily basis to increase understanding of our common past. Founded primarily to facilitate American archaeological research in the region, ACOR now serves scholars from a wide variety of disciplines from North America, Europe, the Near East and, indeed, from all parts of the world. The ACOR building is the only purpose-built research center of its kind in the Near East. 

The five-story facility, completed in 1986 and enlarged in 2005, is on a hill across from the University of Jordan and is near both the British and German archaeological institutes. Its construction was the result of great effort by ACOR's friends and supporters, including the governments of the United States and Jordan. The structure can thus be seen as a symbol of international cooperation and friendship. Facilities include hostel rooms and apartments to accommodate more than 50 persons; a living and dining area, supplemented by a large outdoor terrace; a library, open to the public, of over 35,000 books and periodicals; offices and workrooms for resident scholars; a computer room with IBM computers and printers; GIS, CAD and drafting facilities; a lecture room with projection facilities; a conservation laboratory; a darkroom; and storage space for artifacts and equipment. Lunch is served daily and cooking facilities are available at other times. There are also telephone, fax, copying and laundry services. Equipment available for field research expeditions includes excavation, surveying, mapping, and photographic equipment. 

ACOR is supported by contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals and by funds generated by the Amman operation. ACOR is tax exempt as a 501(c)(3) organization, as determined by the United States Internal Revenue Service. 


ACOR's mission for the next quarter century will be to support scholarly research, with special emphasis on archaeology, on the past and present human condition in Jordan and the surrounding region. The mission also includes: continued development of the ACOR Library for advanced research; broadening ACOR's function as a meeting place for both international scholarly exchange and instruction on subjects related to Near Eastern archaeology and civilization; and continued cooperation with Jordanian institutions of higher education.

The future of ACOR includes plans for additional archaeological projects and more archaeological publications. 

Copyright © 2000 American Center of Oriental Research
Original Web Design and Content Organization:  Robert E. Mittelstaedt 
Current Web Design Courtesy of  Andrew M. Smith II
Web Maintenance: ACOR Staff
Last modified: December 31, 2011