Road of the Rising Sun? Insights from Wisad Pools into Jordan’s Black Desert Neolithic

15 May 2024

Road of the Rising Sun? Insights from Wisad Pools into the nature and context of Jordan’s Black Desert Neolithic by Dr Alexander Wasse

Date: Wednesday, 15 May 2024 

Time: 6:00 pm (Amman time), 4:00 pm (London time). 

Format: Hybrid. 

The CBRL Amman Institute is delighted to announce an exciting new lecture series titled ‘The Badia’, dedicated to exploring the rich cultural and environmental heritage of Jordan’s Eastern Desert. Scheduled throughout May and June 2024, this series offers a journey through four hybrid lectures presented by experts in the field.

The second lecture in this series will be presented by Dr Alexander Wasse who is a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Yeditepe University in Istanbul. He studied Archaeology at University College London, completing a doctoral dissertation on the development of herding during the Levantine Neolithic as evidenced at ‘Ain Ghazal. Having previously worked in Lebanon, the Arabian peninsula and the Sahara, his work has for many years focused on the Neolithic periods of eastern Jordan and Cyprus. He is interested in early pastoralism and zooarchaeology, the correlation of archaeological with climatic records, and cycles of economic intensification/ deintensification in prehistory.

The late 7th and 6th millennia BC were a time of expansive interconnectivity in many parts of the Levant and Mesopotamia. During this period, hunter-trapper-herder communities utilised temporary camps and semi-permanent settlements to bring the hitherto underexploited steppic margins of the Fertile Crescent into economic production. Far from being an unproductive waste, the great arc of the modern ‘desert line’ was then characterised by a rich array of productive seasonal microhabitats which supported a diversity of socioeconomic activities. Drawing on recent data recovered by the Eastern Badia Archaeological Project, this lecture proposes that by the mid-6th millennium, hunting, herding and exchange networks linked the steppic rangelands with the Tigris-Euphrates river system, bringing within their ambit regions extending from northern Syria to Mesopotamia and the Arabian Gulf.

To register, please click here.