Archaeological and Geomorphological Investigations of the Late Epipaleolithic in West-central Jordan: TBAS 212 in a Regional Context
Michael Neeley [+]
Montana State University
J. Brett Hill [+]
Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas
As a result of extensive archaeological survey, the west-central portion of Jordan contains a rich archaeological record. This is especially the case for the Paleolithic time frames as a series of wetland environments have been identified for the Wadi al-Hasa and the nearby Jurf ad-Darawish region. These prominent landscape features were hubs of activity for Pleistocene hunter-gatherers prior to the decline of these habitats at the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary. However, the Late Epipaleolithic (Natufian) is less well-represented in these landscapes. This paper focuses on one of these Late Epipaleolithic sites, TBAS 212, situated along a small wetland setting south of Jurf ad-Darawish. At a local level, TBAS 212 is unique as the only large, repeatedly occupied base camp in this area. This site is in contrast to several nearby smaller, Late Epipaleolithic occupations. At the regional level, the only other large Late Epipaleolithic occupation (Tabaqa) is located in the Wadi al-Hasa. Based on archaeological and geoarchaeological evidence we argue that similar environmental settings in both areas made them conducive to these larger-scale occupations. Limited evidence for large-scale settlement outside of these habitats is likely due to issues of resource availability and site preservation/geomorphological processes.