The excavation of WF16, a Pre-Pottery Neolithic A site in southern Jordan: acquiring new evidence for the origins of sedentary farming communities

WF16 is located in the spectacular Wadi Faynan area of Southern Jordan. The excavation will use a single context recording system (based on the MoLAS system) and will use a purpose built archaeological database (supplied by IADS York) to create an easily accessible site archive. 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. The PPNA brought to an end more than two million years of hunting and gathering and laid the foundations for the first civilisations. However, despite more than 50 years of research, our understanding of PPNA society remains limited. The opening of a large (40 x 15m) trench will provide unprecedented access into PPNA village life, allowing detailed examination of the spatial and chronological variability. Together with the anticipated recovery of an extensive collection of PPNA material culture and organic items this will shed new light on our understanding of PPNA society and economy.

Principal investigator
Professor Steven Mithen
Principal project staff
Professor Steven Mithen
Start date
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Completion date
Wednesday, December 1, 2010