Beyond the Fertile Crescent: Late Palaeolithic and Neolithic Communities of the Jordanian Steppe

Start: Feb 05, 2014 06:00 PM

Location: Archaeology Lecture Theatre, G6

View across the Azraq Basin

Andrew Garrard (UCL) will give a Council for British Research in the Levant Lecture at the Institute on 5 February.


The natural arc of resource-rich land which forms the ‘Fertile Crescent’ of South-West Asia is widely regarded as the earliest centre of village-based farming in the world and it has been the focus of much research on the transition from Epipalaeolithic hunting and gathering to Neolithic farming. Historically, far less was known of contemporary developments in the steppe, desert and oasis environments of the Syrian and Jordanian plateau, but since the early 1980s the CBRL and its predecessor organisation BIAAH have sponsored major field research in eastern Jordan, and the Azraq Basin Project was the most extensive of these projects.

During the course of the field work, small-scale excavations were undertaken at 18 separate sites revealing much about the environment, settlement patterns, subsistence strategies and the material culture and life of these nomadic communities through the period between 30,000 and 8,000 years ago. The lecture will summarise the results of the project and more recent research undertaken in the region. It will also serve as a book launch for the first volume on the Azraq Basin Project.

Andrew Garrard received his PhD from Cambridge and then joined the staff of the British Institute of Archaeology and History at Amman (BIAAH) where he became Director and ran the Project described here. He is now Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London where he is a specialist in the Palaeolithic and Neolithic archaeology of the Near East. He undertaken extensive field work in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

The lecture will be followed by an informal reception.  All welcome.  Free admission.

Please e-mail cbrl@britac.ac.uk with any enquiries.