Published: WF16 Excavations at an Early Neolithic Settlement in Southern Jordan; stratigraphy, chronology, architecture and burials

We are delighted to share with you the first in a new series of CBRL digital monographs: WF16 Excavations at an Early Neolithic Settlement in Southern Jordan; stratigraphy, chronology, architecture and burials by Steven Mithen, Bill Finlayson, Darko Maričević, Sam Smith, Emma Jenkins and Mohammad Najjar. 

WF16 is located in the spectacular Wadi Faynan area of Southern Jordan. Evaluation of the site was undertaken between 1997 and 2006 with a monograph detailing results of the evaluation published in 2007 (Finlayson & Mithen 2007). Material remains at the site indicate that settlement occurred during the Pre Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) period, with a suite of radiocarbon dates indicating occupation between 11,600 and 10,200 BP (Before Present – before 1950). Originally defined by Kathleen Kenyon during excavation at Jericho in the 1950s, the PPNA is traditionally seen as the earliest manifestation of an agricultural economy in the world, with villages occupied by sedentary groups practicing some form of cultivation. The PPNA brought to an end more than two million years of hunting and gathering and laid the foundations for the first civilisations. Despite more than 50 years of research, our understanding of PPNA society has remained limited. The excavation of WF16 offers the potential to significantly enhance our understanding of the PPNA and the origins of the Neolithic. 

The excavation was made possible by the provision of funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Wenner Gren Foundation. The University of Reading and CBRL provided generous support to the project throughout the course of the excavation. 

Earlier this year, Faynan Museum was opened for its first visitors culminating in almost 30 years of CBRL involvement in archaeological research in the Faynan region and the efforts of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan.

To download the PDF please click here. 

CBRL publishes monographs which present significant new contributions to the study of the humanities and social sciences, as relevant to the countries of the Levant.