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Raw material characterization and lithic procurement in the Azraq Basin, Jordan, during the Middle Pleistocene: Preliminary results.

Author(s): Jeremy Beller

Year: 2017

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Summary

Recent excavations at Shishan Marsh 1 in the Azraq Basin, Jordan, have uncovered several artifact-bearing layers that date to the Middle Pleistocene. A paleoecological assessment of sediments from this period indicates predominantly warm and dry conditions in the region, similar to those of the present. Hominins living under these harsh conditions were forced to contract around a receding spring- and wadi-fed water source for subsistence. In this way, the distances they could venture to acquire resources were limited. Consequently, Shishan Marsh 1 presents the opportunity to investigate lithic procurement strategies practiced by Middle Pleistocene hominins in a water-stressed and arid environment. A macroscopic evaluation of the lithic assemblage revealed a nearly homogenous raw material composition with chert as the dominant stone type. A pilot provenance study of lithic sources in the region and a sample of artifacts are conducted using ICP-MS. The preliminary results indicate that local procurement of stone extracted material from predominantly one chert formation. The operation of the regional wadi-system as a potential secondary source are also considered, as it may have transported nodules toward the Azraq Basin.


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Raw material characterization and lithic procurement in the Azraq Basin, Jordan, during the Middle Pleistocene: Preliminary results.. Jeremy Beller. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430852)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
West Asia


Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15720

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America