Renewing the cooperation with the Freie Universität Berlin, Hannah Parow-Souchon of Project B1 met Christoph Purschwitz at Berlin to discuss raw material issues of the Jordanian Greater Petra Region. Christoph Purschwitz investigates within his PhD Project ("Die lithische Ökonomie von Feuerstein im Frühneolithikum der südlevantinischen Größeren Petra Region") the availability, acquisition and distribution modes of flint and other minerals during the Early Neolithic Period of the Greater Petra Region (key sites Beidha, Basta, Ba'ja, Shkarat Msaied). Most cores from the Jordanian Upper Palaeolithic sites of the Wadi Sabra, forming the PhD topic of Hannah Parow-Souchon, were discussed and attributed to raw material entities found in the vicinity.
The evaluation of the raw material sources is of utmost importance for the understanding of past hunter-gatherer mobility and land-use, since it is the only direct (and best preserved) indicator of past movements. In an environment, as geomorphologically active as the Jordanian Rift Valley, such studies are, however, not trivial and need great experience and great effort in surveying. Preliminary results indicate a surprising amount of non-local pieces which could not be attributed to any of the known raw material sources and therefore probably have been moved over greater distances. This might indicate larger movement events prior to a settlement in the Wadi Sabra itself.
The renewed cooperation between Cologne and Berlin also enables, for the first time, a close comparison of Palaeolithic and Neolithic land-use of this outstanding and long inhabited settlement area.
On one table: Palaeolithic and Neolithic raw material of the greater Petra area.
Photo: Hannah Parow-Souchon