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Neolithic Cultures at 'Ain Ghazal, Jordan

Gary O. Rollefson, Alan H. Simmons and Zeidan Kafafi
Journal of Field Archaeology
Vol. 19, No. 4 (Winter, 1992), pp. 443-470
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
DOI: 10.2307/530427
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/530427
Page Count: 28
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Neolithic Cultures at 'Ain Ghazal, Jordan
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Abstract

Six seasons of excavations between 1982 and 1989 at the Neolithic site of 'Ain Ghazal in central Jordan have sampled only a small area of the huge settlement, but the amounts of information recovered from the site have required that the Neolithic sequence in the southern Levant be reassessed. Clear changes in the size of the settlement, architecture, lithic typology and technology, ceramic manufacture, subsistence economy, and ritual and symbolic behavior are documented for 'Ain Ghazal's four occupational phases (Middle Pre-Pottery Neolithic B, Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic B, Pre-Pottery Neolithic C, and Yarmoukian Pottery Neolithic). These phases span an unbroken occupation period from ca. 7250 to 5000 b.c. Earlier hypotheses that climatic deterioration caused a dramatic abandonment of the southern Levant by 6000 b.c. are unwarranted. Instead, we conclude that not all the area was abandoned, and that severe changes in settlement patterns in Palestine and the Jordan Valley were primarily due to cultural degradation of the fragile ecological system.

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