Wadi Quseiba and the Shellfish-Eaters? Searching for Late Neolithic Sites in Northern Jordan and Finding an Enigmatic Yarmoukian Site
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
During 2012 and 2013, a survey of Wadi Quseiba's drainage basin in northern Jordan employed Bayesian search methods to find late prehistoric, and especially Neolithic sites that often escape more conventional surveys. This resulted in the discovery of some definite and "candidate" sites, one of which is a Yarmoukian site up to 0.5 ha in size that was the subject of test trenching in 2014 and more extensive excavation in 2018. Paradoxically, the site exhibits abundant pottery with distinctive Yarmoukian forms and decoration, figurine fragments, pits, and both mud-brick and stone architecuture, and large volumes of lithic debitage, but is missing some of the hallmarks of the period. Most notably, sickle elements are extremely rare and mammalian bone completely absent, while remains of river crab (Potamon potamios), freshwater mussel (Unio terminalis) and snail (cf. Helix pomatia) are the only fauna represented in the assemblage. Whether this is due to unusual preservation, disposal practices, or specialized non-agricultural activities at the site is the major question. It also demonstrates how new kinds of survey can lead to unexpected elements of ancient cultural landscapes.
Cite this Record
Wadi Quseiba and the Shellfish-Eaters? Searching for Late Neolithic Sites in Northern Jordan and Finding an Enigmatic Yarmoukian Site. Edward Banning, Kevin Gibbs, Philip Hitchings. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449835)
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min long: 26.191; min lat: 12.211 ; max long: 73.477; max lat: 42.94 ;
Abstract Id(s): 25876