6. EBI and Early Urbanism in Jordan: New Lights on a Formative Period through the Jebel al Mutawwaq Excavations
Transitions, Urbanism, and Collapse in the Bronze Age - Essays in Honor of Suzanne Richard - Jesse C. Long, Jr.
Andrea Polcaro [+]
University of Perugia
Jebel al-Mutawwaq is an Early Bronze Age I site located along the Middle Wadi az-Zarqa Valley in the center of the Transjordan highlands. The recent excavations of the Italian-Spanish archaeological expedition have identified two main phases of occupation of the site, corresponding to the EB IA and to the EB IB-IIA periods. The site shows peculiar architectonical features reflecting the social organization of the settlement already form the EB IA. This article addresses the actual state of the science on the EB I, considered not only as a transitional period but also as a formative moment in the history of the southern Levant. The discoveries of the last years in Jebel al-Mutawwaq, both in the settlement with large public buildings excavated in the central and eastern sectors and in the necropolis with several dolmens recovered intact, are illustrated in the article. These discoveries demonstrate that Jebel al-Mutawwaq must be considered a key site for the study of the development of the Jordanian population of the central highlands during the different phases of transformation and evolution of the settlement from the villages to the first walled cities of the EB II-III.