Government agencies and cultural heritage in Jordan
Cultural heritage is overseen by the Department of Antiquities in Jordan. The Department has developed the project MEGA-J, which consists of an inventory of various archaeological sites and historical buildings. The inventory itself is based on a geographical information system (GIS). Laws regulating the Department are however written in Arabic. Thus further contact with our network in Jordan will be required to determine whether data on cultural heritage will be available.
Legislated protection of cultural heritage in Jordan
Jordanian laws concerning cultural heritage is partly provided by Law No. 21 for the year 1988 The Law of Antiquities Definitions and general provisions. This law is directed at objects regarded as antiquities which are defined by article 2(7(a)) as “[a]ny movable or immovable object which was made, written, inscribed, built, discovered or modified by a human being before the year AD 1750 including caves, sculpture, coins, pottery, manuscripts and other kinds of manufactured products which indicate the beginning and development of science, arts, handicrafts, religions, traditions of previous civilizations, or any part added to that thing or rebuilt after that date.” Furthermore, any object that dates back after the year AD 1750 can at the request of a Minister be designated an antiquity. Finally, any human, animal or plant remains which date back before AD 600 is considered an antiquity.
Any object designated as an antiquity is protected by Article 9, which prohibits antiquities from being destroyed, ruined, disfigured or caused damage to.
- Data about cultural heritage is stored by the following organization: Department of Antiquities
- The data is available through: <offline, bulk download, api, linked data, printed reports>
- The data includes information about the following: <base data (ID, type etc.), geographical, archaeological/architectural, images>
Policy decisions on access to public information
In Jordan freedom of information is regulated by Access to information Law. It is only available in Arabic.
Legislations hindering the distribution of pictures in Jordan
According to article 3 of The Copyright Law No. (22) of 1992, copyright protection is enjoyed by various works, including architecture. In terms of protection, article 20 states that only public libraries, non-commercial documentation centres, educational academies and, scientific and cultural institutions are allowed to copy works without the author’s consent if it happens within the framework of the institution’s needs. This seemingly puts Jordanian law at odds with Wiki Common’s standard license, which allows for personal use including economic gain.
Museum or archives that are willing to add their material
The Jordan Museum (Amman), Jordan Archaeological Museum (Amman), Jordan Folklore and Popular Traditions Museums (Amman)
Network of contacts: Arab Education Forum (AEF)
AEF is a non-governmental organization in Jordan that has worked in the Arab world since 1998 with social issues and youth. Their mission is to strengthen Arabic culture, based on knowledge and experience from Arabic societies. CHwB has previously collaborated with them to preserve immaterial cultural heritage in terms of Syrian folktales. Based on AEF’s advice we have contacted Friends of Archaeology, an organization dedicated to preservation of Jordans historical past and spreading knowledge of this to the general public.
Wikimedia activity in Jordan
Jordan is part of the Wikimedians of the Levant user group, and participated in Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 and 2014.