Important new information about the area of Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John the Baptist preached and baptized during the early days of his ministry, has recently been revealed following archaeological surveys and excavations along the length of Wadi Al-Kharrar since 1996.

Combined evidence from the biblical text, Byzantine and medieval writers’ accounts, and most recent archaeological works, place the tradition of John the Baptist’s mission, including the baptism of Jesus, adjacent to and directly east of the Jordan River, in the land of the modern Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Three pools are seen on the Tell. The first one is located on the lower southern slope dating to the Roman period during the 3rd – 4th centuries AD.

The other two pools are located on the top of the northern edge of Tell Al-Kharrar. Rectangular in shape, the southern pool had an inner staircase on the eastern side, and four steps extending the full width of the pool can be seen. Pilgrims would descend into the pool to be baptized.

Prophet Mohammad crossed the Jordan River on his night journey to Jerusalem and heaven. This enduring continuity of faith among the three Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, testament to God’s merciful love for all humankind is nowhere experienced or preserved as fully as in the region of the Baptism Archaeological Park, where so many Abrahamic prophets passed and left their mark.

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