Community archaeology 2021: building community engagement at the time of social distancing

This paper focuses on the challenges of adapting – and changing – a community archaeology project as a direct consequence of the global pandemic. COVID-19 has affected our interactions with local communities, driving home the need to create forms of socializing that can withstand physical distance. We will present here the associated challenges and problems, but also the opportunities, that emerged from starting a community archaeology project in Jordan at the time of social distancing and travel limitations. Our case study outlines the difficulties of initiating a community engagement program with the communities living around the site of Tell Ya’moun, the area of the Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empire survey project, during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.