The prehistory of the basalt desert, Transjordan : an analysis
The content of this thesis is based on original fieldwork by the candidate in the Black Desert, the basalt region of eastern Jordan. Very little is known about the prehistoric sequence of occupation in the area. The thesis attempts to outline this sequence through analysis of the survey data, and compare it to existing information from the better documented areas of Palestine and Syria. The first chapter describes the environment of the study area, both at present and in history, and sets out the survey and sampling techniques used in the study. The second chapter gives a brief description of the slender evidence for Lower and Middle Paleolithic in the region and the third chapter examines the evidence for the Epipaleolithic, comparing sites found on the survey with those from similar contexts and more contrasting ones in the fertile areas to the west. The fourth chapter covers the extensive evidence for aceramic Neolithic occupation and discusses the typelist adopted for the analysis. It describes the types of sites of this period, and includes detailed analyses of two excavated assemblages to demonstrate the special character of the sites in the survey area. The fifth chapter continues the discussion into the later Neolithic when there is a significant change in subsistance strategies in the desert. Many sites and findspots have been recorded for this period. The nature of their chipped stone industries and their distribution are examined and analysed, and contrasted with the evidence for this period from surrounding areas. The sixth chapter outlines the evidence for post-Neolithic occupation in the study area and elsewhere in the desert regions. It also presents the data for the chipped stone assemblage from Jawal an intrusive Late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze industry, the Cananean, typical of Palestine and western Syria. The final chapter sums up the results of the work and presents conclusions.