The Barakat Trust endowed Mahmoud Hawari with a grant to help him with his research project on Hisham’s palace located in the West Bank. The overall aim of the Khirbat al-Mafjar is to enhance the understanding of the 8th century Umayyad Hisham’s Palace within the context of its cultural and historical environment, and to provide a new interpretation of the site. There are two main objectives of his research project. Firstly it is to record all surviving remains that were once part of the historic environment which had sustained the palace at Khirbar al-Mafjar. Sadly the prominence of the palace became increasingly superseded by the ever-increasing agricultural and urban development of modern Jericho’s suburbs. And to strengthen the capacity building of local students and staff by providing professional training in survey and excavation methods.
This research project has undoubtedly an immense importance for field archaeology of both Palestine and the Levant, particularly in relation to other Umayyad qusur.
This palace is a very good and actually rather well published example of the splendour of Umayyad architecture and decorative arts. However almost paradoxically very little of the surrounding remains associated with it have been recorded and explored. And as mentioned more needs to be recorded about this because all the architecture sadly is in jeopardy because of the rapid urban development of Jericho and expansion of agricultural activity in the area. The area itself is around 10 square kilometres.