Changing Perspectives on the Pre-‐Pottery Neolithic: The Wadi al-‐Hasa after Burton MacDonald
Jane Peterson [+]
The systematic documentation of Neolithic settlement in the Wadi al-Hasa began with Burton MacDonald’s 1979–1983 survey. Since then, additional survey and excavation projects have been carried out producing data and analytical results broadening our perspectives on the local Neolithic within the drainage. Paleo-landscape reconstructions have also begun to provide much needed contextual information within which to interpret the archaeological patterns. This chapter outlines the present state of knowledge concerning the Pre-Pottery Neolithic in the Wadi al-Hasa. It includes a broad overview of what we currently know about the settlement patterns, material culture, architecture, subsistence, and mortuary practices of the groups who began experimenting with various modes of food production in the area. Based on this summary, it is suggested that early agropastoral developments in the Wadi al-Hasa display a diversity indicative of mosaic patterns of interaction and influence. In this way, Neolithic research in the Wadi al-Hasa contributes to the growing appreciation for the importance of interpreting the rise of agropastoralism from a multi-scalar perspective that includes local developmental trajectories.