Northeast Jordan’s Azraq basin challenges perceptions of harsh landscape

  • Date: 07-Dec-2023
  • Source: Jordan Times
  • Sector:Real Estate
  • Country:Jordan
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Northeast Jordan’s Azraq basin challenges perceptions of harsh landscape

AMMAN — With human presence known for at least 400,000?years ago, the Azraq basin and adjacent areas of northeast Jordan preserve one of the most continuous and well-known sequences of early prehistoric settlement in the Levant. 

“Although the northeast Badia of Jordan had for a long time been thought of as a largely inhospitable region, hostile to permanent human occupation, archaeological fieldwork over the past four decades has demonstrated that the region’s early occupation spans from the later part of the Lower Palaeolithic to the end of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic,” noted Professor Tobias Richter from The University of Copenhagen, adding that  the idea that northeast Jordan was a landscape in which, due to the environmental constraints of the semi-arid steppe and arid desert, survival was difficult and life was harsh, has therefore been undergoing active revision.

The Black Desert was definitely not a cultural periphery or desolated place.

“Key cultural, economic and social advances have commonly been described as having occurred outside this region and were introduced to the Badia only later. Certain developments in the prehistory of northeast Jordan can actually be seen as locally-specific processes, independent of events taking place elsewhere,” said Richter.

Furthermore, it is important not to judge the archaeological