Pre-Historic Wadi Ziqlab in Northern Jordan
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Pre-Historic Wadi Ziqlab

Pre-History and Archaeology Glossary

View of Wadi Ziqlab from Tell Rakan with the Jordan Valley in the distance ..... Banning (University of Toronto) Wadi Ziqlab is a stream that drains an area in modern Jordan north of Wadi Yabis. The prehistoric periods are represented by large numbers of deflated lithic scrapers mainly from the (1) Middle and Upper Paleolithic periods (2) Kebaran deposits at Tabaqat Buma and Uyyun Hammam (3) the Neolithic Period including: (A) Ain Sabha has 4 metres of cultural deposits from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) and the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze ages (B) Site 310 shows occupation from the Late Neolithic through EB I (C) Tabaqat Buma also has more than a metre of deposits with stone architecture belonging to three distinct Late Neolithic strata (See *4 Below) .....

Tabaqat Buma (WZ 200): The Kebaran levels give uncalibrated radiocarbon dates that range from 14850 +/- 160 BP to 11170 +/- 100 BP. The Neolithic component of Tabaqat Buma consisted of a small settlement - probably a farmstead - with various stone structures in each level. There were at least three major phases of the Late Neolithic involved each with distinctive architecture - pottery - lithics. Radiocarbon dates on the Neolithic strata are uncalibrated (A)7800 +/- 70 BP (B)6630 +/- 70 BP (C)6590 +/- 80 BP (D)5740 +/- 110 BP. Asoociated with these structures were (1): (I) [earlier] mainly undecorated and poorly fired jars and bowls but some pottery with incised or painted decoration; (II) [later] a hard black-burnished ware with occasional combed decoration identical to much of the ceramic repertoire of Site 310 and with parallels to the Wadi Rabah sites (2) predominantly expedient lithic blade technology with sickle blade elements as almost the only formed tools (3) basalt grinding stones (4) faunal remains dominated by sheep/goat but with substantial contributions by cattle and pig. A cist grave in area F34 appears to belong to the earliest phase identified so far but awaits C-14 determination (See Volume 96:#3:506-7 and Vol. 97:#3:460-2 of the AJA) .....


Uyyun Hammam (WZ 148): a Geometric Kebaran site located at an elevation of 210 masl on an old river terrace. Most of the tools are made of a fine-quality light brown or tan colored flint obtained from the flint-rich limestone hills east of the site. The tools are dominated by microliths of various forms. Notable are the high proportion of rectangles - trapezes - backed bladelets and the presence of small scrapers (See Volume 107:#3:449-51 and Volume 105:#3:427-9 ibid) .....

Basatin (WZ 135): Late Neolithic site located on a broad sloping terrace about 25 masl. The artifacts appear similar to Tabaqat Buma at that period and consequentially the Wadi Rabah Culture (circa 5800-5200 calibrated BC) as well. Artifacts include cores - sickle blade elements - flint axes or adzes and a few blades. The pottery is crudely constructed and poorly fired and their surface treatment includes combing and roughening. The fauna include cows or aurochs - pig or wild boar - sheep/goat (See Volume 107:#3:454-6 ibid) .....

Tell Rakan: site at about 100 masl in the main canyon of Wadi Ziqlab. Cultural deposits up to 9 metres thick are preserved over an area of at least one hectare. An important aspect is the stratified sequence which seems to include almost the entire period from LPPNB - Late Neolithic (Yarmoukian) - Chalcolithic - through EB IB. It is also important because it was founded during a period when some Neolithic sites - particularly west of the Jordan River - were being abandoned [see mention of the hiatus palestinien in the Neba'a Faour page]; while it continued to be occupied (See Volume 104:#3:571 ibid) .....

Tubna: a Chalcolithic site on the western slopes of a modern village by the same name southwest of Irbid. The site occurs at an elevation of 550 masl on some agricultural terraces overlooking Wadi Summamyl - one of the two principal tributaries of Wadi Ziqlab. There are Chalcolithic deposits more than 30 centimetres thick over an area of at least one hectare. The deepest deposits contained small amounts of pottery from the Late Neolithic including widely splayed strap handles. Although utilized flakes dominate the lithic (stone) assemblages there is also a large repertoire of bifacial adzes - axes - picks - chisels and smaller numbers of sickle blades and cortical scrapers (See Volume 100:#3:517-8 ibid) .....

Tell Fendi: the site lies at an elevation of 248 masl seven kilometres east of Beth Shan. The tell itself is a low mound that rises four metres above the surrounding alluvial plain and covers about two hectares. Relatively abundant water resources in conjunction with the surrounding flat plain of fertile valley soils would have made Tell Fendi a desirable location for a farming community during the Chalcolithic. The pottery recovered closely parallels that found at ancient Pella (Tabaqat Fahl) - Tell Abu Habil North - Tubna. The chipped stone assemblage can be considered typical of the Late Chalcolithic and has parallels at sites such as Teleilat Ghassul - Abu Hamid - Pella among others. As is typical during the Chalcolithic the density of formed tools is quite low with the bulk of the assemblage consisting of ad hoc tools and unutilized debitage (See Volume 102:#3:585-6 ibid) .....


MOUSEION (*1) Wadi Ziqlab Project (University of Toronto)

(*2) Excavations at Tubna in Wadi Ziqlab (Mouseion)

(*3) Excavations at a Geometric Kebaran Site (Antiquity)

(*4) The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East
Eric Meyers (Editor) [ASOR] LC # DS 56 O9 1997

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