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Paleoenvironmental change and settlement dynamics in the Druze Marsh: Results of recent excavation at an open-air Paleolithic site

Conference Paper


Abstract


  • Large open-air archaeological sites provide a unique contribution to our understanding of the range of environments exploited by hominins and how their mobility patterns were affected by local, regional, and global environmental fluctuations. The challenge, however, is that in open-air contexts the distribution of buried and surface archaeological remains is greatly affected by geomorphic processes that acted on the landscape throughout the Pleistocene and Holocene. Deciphering the behavioural patterns of large open-air sites necessitates an approach that incorporates landscape evolution as a critical component contributing to the spatial distribution and variability in the archaeological record. We suggest that it is more appropriate to speak of open-air archaeological landscapes rather than sites in the traditional sense.Within this framework, we present our ongoing research at Druze Marsh, a Paleolithic locale in the northwest corner of the Azraq Basin (Jordan), and an oasis that may have functioned as a desert refugium at different points during the Pleistocene. Surveys and excavations in the Azraq Basin have recovered material from the Lower Paleolithic to historical periods. Recent research by our team has identified a stratified sequence of artifacts that typologically correspond to the Late Lower, Middle, Upper, and Epipaleolithic industries. Both the surface and stratified material are the remains of prehistoric behaviour, and a full understanding of the prehistoric settlement system and land-use surrounding the Druze Marsh requires amalgamating these different contexts with the environmental history of the area, particularly accounting for the contribution of geomorphic processes on the spatial distribution of the archaeological record. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Ames, C. J. H., Nowell, A., Cordova, C. E., Pokines, J. T., & Bisson, M. S. (2014). Paleoenvironmental change and settlement dynamics in the Druze Marsh: Results of recent excavation at an open-air Paleolithic site. In Quaternary International Vol. 331 (pp. 60-73). doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2013.04.016

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84899928549

Start Page


  • 60

End Page


  • 73

Volume


  • 331

Abstract


  • Large open-air archaeological sites provide a unique contribution to our understanding of the range of environments exploited by hominins and how their mobility patterns were affected by local, regional, and global environmental fluctuations. The challenge, however, is that in open-air contexts the distribution of buried and surface archaeological remains is greatly affected by geomorphic processes that acted on the landscape throughout the Pleistocene and Holocene. Deciphering the behavioural patterns of large open-air sites necessitates an approach that incorporates landscape evolution as a critical component contributing to the spatial distribution and variability in the archaeological record. We suggest that it is more appropriate to speak of open-air archaeological landscapes rather than sites in the traditional sense.Within this framework, we present our ongoing research at Druze Marsh, a Paleolithic locale in the northwest corner of the Azraq Basin (Jordan), and an oasis that may have functioned as a desert refugium at different points during the Pleistocene. Surveys and excavations in the Azraq Basin have recovered material from the Lower Paleolithic to historical periods. Recent research by our team has identified a stratified sequence of artifacts that typologically correspond to the Late Lower, Middle, Upper, and Epipaleolithic industries. Both the surface and stratified material are the remains of prehistoric behaviour, and a full understanding of the prehistoric settlement system and land-use surrounding the Druze Marsh requires amalgamating these different contexts with the environmental history of the area, particularly accounting for the contribution of geomorphic processes on the spatial distribution of the archaeological record. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Ames, C. J. H., Nowell, A., Cordova, C. E., Pokines, J. T., & Bisson, M. S. (2014). Paleoenvironmental change and settlement dynamics in the Druze Marsh: Results of recent excavation at an open-air Paleolithic site. In Quaternary International Vol. 331 (pp. 60-73). doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2013.04.016

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84899928549

Start Page


  • 60

End Page


  • 73

Volume


  • 331