Archaeology and Desertification: The Wadi Faynan Landscape Survey, Southern Jordan (Levant Supplementary Series 6)

Archaeology and Desertification: The Wadi Faynan Landscape Survey, Southern Jordan (Levant Supplementary Series 6)

By: Graeme Barker (author), David J. Mattingly (author), David Gilbertson (author)Hardback

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The Wadi Faynan is a harshly beautiful and desertic landscape in southern Jordan, situated between the hyper-arid deserts of the Wadi 'Arabah and the rugged and wetter Mountains of Edom. Archaeology and Desertification presents the results of the Wadi Faynan Landscape Survey, an inter-disciplinary study of landscape change undertaken in the Wadi Faynan by a team of archaeologists and geographers with the goal of contributing to present-day desertification debates by providing a long-term perspective on the relationship between environmental change and human history. The Wadi Faynan was the focus for some of the earliest farming in the Near East, and the earliest metallurgy, and in Roman times was a centre for copper and lead mining. The project reveals how past communities of farmers, shepherds, and miners managed their challenging environment, the solutions they developed, their successes and failures, and their short- and long-term environmental impacts. The richness of the palaeoclimatic, archaeological and palaeoecological data reveals an environmental/cultural history of complex pathways, synergies, and feedbacks operating at many different geographical scales, rates, and intensities. The project's findings on the complexity of past and present people:environment relations in the Wadi Faynan affirm the power of inter-disciplinary landscape archaeology to contribute significantly to the desertification debate. With global warming likely to threaten the lives of millions of people in the semi-arid and arid lands that comprise over a third of the planet through the course of this century, with potentially dire consequences for adjacent populations in better-watered regions, understanding the complexity of past responses to aridification has never been more urgent.

About Author

Graeme Barker is Emeritus Disney Professor of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge and a Senior Research Fellow in the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. His research focuses on the interactions between past human societies and the environments they inhabited, especially relating to the transition from hunting and gathering to farming and, more recently, the dispersal of our species.


The Wadi Faynan Landscape Survey: research themes and project development (Graeme Barker, David Gilbertson and David Mattingly) The Wadi Faynan today: landscape, environment, and people (David Gilbertson, Carol Palmer, Hwedi el-Rishi, Christopher Hunt, Sue McLaren and Brian Pyatt) The past and present landscapes of the Wadi Faynan: geoarchaeological approaches and frameworks (Hwedi El-Rishi, Chris Hunt, David Gilbertson, John Grattan, Sue McLaren, Brian Pyatt, Geoff Duller, Gavin Gillmore and Paul Phillips) Recording and classifying the archaeological record (Oliver Creighton, David Mattingly and Graeme Barker) The Wadi Faynan field systems (Paul Newson, Graeme Barker, Patrick Daly and David Gilbertson) Pleistocene environments and human settlement (Sue McLaren, Tim Reynolds, David Gilbertson, John Grattan, Chris Hunt, Graeme Barker and Geoff Duller) Early Holocene environments and early farming, c.11,000-7000 cal. BP, c.9500-5000 cal. BC (Chris Hunt, Sue McLaren, Tim Reynolds, Graeme Barker, Hwedi El-Rishi, David Gilbertson and John Grattan) Chalcolithic (c.5000-3600 cal. BC) and Bronze Age (c.3600-1200 cal. BC) settlement: metallurgy and social complexity (Graeme Barker, Russ Adams, Oliver Creighton, Hwedi El-Rishi, David Gilbertson, John Grattan, Chris Hunt, Paul Newson, Brian Pyatt and Tim Reynolds) The making of early states: the Iron Age and Nabataean periods (David Mattingly, Paul Newson, John Grattan, Roberta Tomber. Graeme Barker, David Gilbertson and Chris Hunt) A landscape of imperial power: Roman and Byzantine Phaino (David Mattingly, Paul Newson, Oliver Creighton, Roberta Tomber, John Grattan, Chris Hunt, David Gilbertson and Brian Pyatt) From the Arab conquest to the present day: environment, archaeology, ethnoarchaeology (Carol Palmer, David Gilbertson, Paul Newson, Patrick Daly, Hwedi El-Rishi, John Grattan, Chris Hunt, David Mattingly, Sue McLaren, Brian Pyatt, Helen Smith and Roberta Tomber) Archaeology and desertification in the Wadi Faynan (David Gilbertson, Graeme Barker, David Mattingly and Carol Palmer) Appendix 1: Wadi Faynan Landscape Survey site gazetteer (CD) (David Mattingly, Oliver Creighton, Graeme Barker and David Gilbertson) Appendix 2: Published radiocarbon dates from the Faynan region (David Gilbertson, Chris Hunt and David Mattingly) Appendix 3: Lithic artefacts collected by the Wadi Faynan landscape Survey (Tim Reynolds) Appendix 4: Bronze Age pottery and site associations (Russ Adams) Appendix 5: Classical and Islamic pottery (Roberta Tomber) Bibliography Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781842172865
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 510
  • ID: 9781842172865
  • ISBN10: 1842172867

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