Environment and Land Use in the Wadi Faynan, Southern Jordan: the Third Season of Geoarchaeology and Landscape Archaeology (1998)
University of Exeter (Creighton) - at the time of publication the author was at Trinity College, Camarthen
Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL)
This report describes the third season of fieldwork by an interdisciplinary team of archaeologists and geographers working to reconstruct the landscape history of the Wadi Faynan in southern Jordan over the past 200,000 years. The particular focus of the project is the long-term history of inter-relationships between landscape and people, as a contribution to the study of processes of desertification and environmental degradation. The geomorphological and palaeoecological studies have now established the outline sequence of landform changes and climatic fluctuations in the late Pleistocene and Holocene. The complex field system WF4 has now been recorded in its entirety in terms of wall construction, surface artefacts, and hydrological features, as well as most of the outlying field systems. From these studies, in combination with the analysis of the surface artefacts, an outline sequence of the water utilization and managements strategies they represent and can now be discerned. Ethnoarchaeology is also being used to investigate the present-day populations of the study area, their interactions with their landscape and with neighbouring socio-economic groups, in part to yield archaeological signatures to aid the interpretation of the surface remains being gathered by the archaeological survey. Palynology is showing that Roman/Byzantine agriculture and mining severely impacted on the landscape in terms of deforestation; and geochemistry that Roman/Byzantine mining severely polluted the landscape, the effects of which are still apparent in the modem ecology of the study area.
Reproduced with permission of the publisher. © 1999 Council for British Research in the Levant. Details of the publication are available at: http://www.cbrl.org.uk/Publications/publications_default.shtm
Levant, 31, pp. 255-292