Our initial plan based on Mittman’s descriptions was to sample the area south-east of Rasoun, near Ain Rasoun, called Kh. Muslimani.
Reconnaissance in April 2006 had found only Iron Age pottery, with one large underground chamber of probable Roman/Byzantine date.
On our return we were directed to another area of Rasoun, further down the wadi, where clear Byzantine walling was found. Pottery was also relatively abundant in the ploughed soil within the old olive grove to the east of the wadi and wall lines, as the land rose. Subsequent enquiries revealed that the Department of Antiquities had excavated a church at Rasoun (the wall lines in the wadi) and the records are stored at the Ajloun office.
We therefore concentrated our sampling some 100m uphill, to the east of the church site, within the old olive grove and on unploughed land. Numerous large ancient wall lines were visible in the grove. Considerable amounts of small multi-coloured tesserae were collected from the surface, the 5m x 5m scrape and in both soundings. Sounding 2 uncovered a broken part of a miniature column, likely to have been a pulpit support or some other kind of church furnishings.
Pottery was found in medium quantities, but very little of it appeared to be Islamic. We also made a cursory examination of the openings in the hillside east of Rasoun (ancient Resous). Several were clearly tombs, many with kokhim openings, suggesting Roman rather than Byzantine construction. Others were more complex, with what appeared to be light wells, if they were underground houses, or collecting tanks, if they were cisterns.
Several had collapsed into others, although at least one had a nicely carved doorway linking two sets of chambers.
This area needs to be properly planned, as it is likely to be the main necropolis for the ancient city.