Research & Publications

Ammar Khammash is well established in Jordan and internationally for his knowledge in Jordan's cultural and natural heritage. He is an expert in local building techniques and traditions; has extensive knowledge in the geology of Jordan and its natural features; and is one of the few architects who are interested in medicinal plants and using them as a viable tool in the socio-economic development. This section includes research and publications by Khammash on numerous topics including design, architecture, environment, paleontology and geology from 1986 till present.

Soft Ornaments

Among the cities, towns and villages of Jordan, Salt has a unique environment. Here is one of the Kingdom's most complete stretches of traditional architecture. Besides this relatively intact architectural fabric with its own distinct style, Salt also represents the most lived-in site of architectural heritage in Jordan. ...more

Calamari in Stone

Wadi Wala, also called Heedan, can be visited in combination with Makawir at Jabal Bani Hamida, towards the end of the valley drive, and to avoid coming back the same way, you can drive up on the northern slopes to reach the road to Makawir at the village of Grayyat. The Kings’ Highway on the wheat-land plateau south of Madaba reveals on its sides the uppermost layer of rock, the newest of a long stack of rocks. ...more

Gallery in the Desert

The sense of arrival in Azraq is great. Vast horizons, light clean air, and distinct ethnic flavors all give a feeling of being in a place different from the rest of Jordan. Azraq and the desert beyond remain the kingdom's best destinations for unrestricted panorama, open horizons and a gratifying sense of freedom. From Azraq, remote mountains appear as pyramids in hazy rust-red ...more

The Sacred Loft

Driving from Madaba towards the east you gradually see a change in color of the soil. As the terrain gets more wrinkled, the soil starts loosing its dark-red tint and gradually turns from shades of terracotta to pale ochre. This transition is basically signaling the crossing of the green-line that separates the wheatland of the Madaba plains from the more arid and rugged landscape of the semi-desert. ...more

Palace in the Lake

Heading west out of Amman after the town of Wadi Seer, the road descends into a lush valley. Poplar trees stand on edges of aqueducts and pomegranate groves cover the terraced wadi-sides. The entire valley is a site of natural charm. As the road gets narrower and more rural, a final drive by a few fig trees brings you to a powerful view of Qasr Al Abd, within its splendid surrounding. ...more

Roman Relics

The road to Um Qais sits on a natural viaduct passing westwards, with the Yarmouk Valley to its north and Wadi Al Arab to its south. Twenty minutes after leaving Irbid, the landscape starts to get more rugged, with large stretches of white rocks penetrated by big oak trees gradually filling the scene. ...more

Walking Whales

The name Qaa Faydat Ad-Dahikiya refers to a large canyon running from the northwest for about 8 km till it exits Jordan in the southeast. Ad-Dahikiya is a natural monument by all standards. From a distance, while driving in the seemingly flat desert, a vertical elevation starts to reveal itself, furnishing the horizon with a bright mass created by a limestone cliff. ...more

Gardens in the Shade

Today, very little of the traditional town of Maan has survived. Only about 30 years ago almost the complete town was of mud brick. Architecturally, Maan represents the end of the mountainous Mediterranean construction, which uses rubble or dressed stone, and the beginning of the desert architecture that uses sun-dried mud brick. ...more

In the Depth of the Desert

A drive to Qasr Tuba is a good sample of Jordan’s flint desert. Unlike basalt or sand, flint sends a ring while the tires of your car make their way –the slowly turning wheels play endless flint lengths, each ring differently, making the whole desert sound like a continuous keyboard of a strange musical instrument. ...more

The Rich Receding Lake

The Dead Sea is a unique feature of planet Earth. Between this area of Jordan and Mount Everest in the Himalayas, lies the rest of the world. When you submerge yourself up to the neck in this unusual inland body of water, which is therefore geographically considered a lake, you are at the lowest point on Earth – 416 meters below the shores of the Mediterranean. ...more

Le Krak de Montreal

Built during the Crusader times, 887 years ago, Shobak castle is almost a natural extension of a dramatic hill. The location has provided the castle with a natural moat; a system of valleys that surround a central hill from all directions. ...more

Where Time Stood Still

The Amman railway station remains an almost intact specimen of a part of Jordan from the last days of the Ottoman Empire. Like a historical photograph where time is captured and brought to a complete stop, this station is a physical three-dimensional freeze, a snapshot fixed in iron and stone, as steam engines laid dormant for decades and shrubs grew around their wheels. ...more