Burton MacDonald and the Stone Age in Jordan
Geoffrey Clark [+]
Arizona State University
Although a classical scholar, Burton MacDonald has done more than any other single individual to improve our understanding of the Stone Age in Jordan. Beginning in 1979 he directed surveys in the (1) Wadi al-Hasa (1979–83), (2) the Southern Ghors and Northeast Wadi Araba (1985–86), (3) from Tafila to Busayra (1999–2001), (4) Ayl to Ras en'Naqb (2005–07) and (5) from Shamakh to Ayl (2010–12). While these projects produced much new data on town sites, hamlets, farmsteads and fortifications dating to the Neolithic, Metal Ages, classical antiquity and the Islamic caliphates, dozens of Lower, Middle, Upper and Epipaleolithic sites were also discovered, many of them subsequently investigated by other workers. MacDonald always sought to include paleolithic archaeologists in his surveys and the projects were an incubator for many younger scholars who went on to productive careers in the profession. The results of these projects are summarized here.