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Using geochemistry, phytoliths and ethnographic analogy to interpret Neolithic settlements in southwest Asia

Author(s): Emma Jenkins ; Sarah Elliott ; Samantha Allcock ; Carol Palmer ; John Grattan

Year: 2017

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Summary

Our understanding of Neolithic sites in southwest Asia is often impeded by the lack of preservation of biological evidence. As a result, they often consist of a series of structures, the construction and function of which, remains elusive. In order to address this problem we conducted a study which used phytoliths and geochemistry from an ethnographic site in Jordan, Al Ma’tan, to determine if certain building construction techniques and anthropogenic activities leave specific phytolith and elemental signatures. We sampled a range of context categories and our results found that certain categories, for example fire installations and animal penning areas, do have distinct phytolith and elemental concentrations. Other categories, however, were less distinguishable; mainly those constructed using the same local clay sources, for example the make-up of hearths, plastered features and wall plasters.


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Cite this Record

Using geochemistry, phytoliths and ethnographic analogy to interpret Neolithic settlements in southwest Asia. Emma Jenkins, Sarah Elliott, Samantha Allcock, Carol Palmer, John Grattan. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431440)


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): 16885

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