Excavations at Jawa 1972-1986: Stratigraphy, Pottery, and Other Finds

Excavations at Jawa 1972-1986: Stratigraphy, Pottery, and Other Finds

Excavations at Jawa 1972-1986: Stratigraphy, Pottery, and Other Finds

Excavations at Jawa 1972-1986: Stratigraphy, Pottery, and Other Finds


"This is a concise, factual and well-illustrated report of the excavations at Jawa, a fortified settlement lying on the eastern slopes of Jebel Druze in Eastern Jordan. Its two periods of occupation are covered--the first from the fourth millenium BC when the main fortifications and the water systems were constructed, and the second in the Middle Bronze Age when a station or outpost was built on the summit within the earlier walls. This volume provides the stratigraphic record of the material remains from both occupations and places them in context. Analysis of the occupation sequence is lucidly presented, there are clear illustrations of the pottery typology, and innovative approaches to comparative analysis are included." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


A.V.G. Betts

This volume is the first in a series of three concerning excavations at the sites of Jawa and Um Hammad in Jordan. Jawa was excavated over several seasons by Svend Helms in the 1970s. the first occupation at the site dates to the very beginning of the Early Bronze Age, and is remarkable for its massive fortifications and complex water systems. Jawa lies in the modern Kingdom of Jordan, and yet belongs more properly to the ambit of ancient Syria. At the time of excavation, the only known sites of this period were in Palestine, northern Syria, and Mesopotamia. Lying midway between these centres of ancient civilization, Jawa was something of an anomaly, its relationship within the archaeological sequence of the Near East considered unclear. To resolve this difficulty Helms started work at a second site, Tell Um Hammad in the Jordan Valley. Here, for the first time, distinctive vessel forms from the Jawa repertoire were found stratified together with recognisable Palestinian pottery. Even more importantly, these 'Jawa' forms occurred within a very dose stratigraphic context, while developed forms in local wares appeared later in the sequence. Thus the two sites can be closely linked in time, and in the nature of the contact between them. Initial direct contact was followed by assimilation of imported traits into local traditions. Tell Um Hammad lies near the mouth of wadi Zerqa, one of the main routes from the plateau down into the Jordan Valley. Much of the 'Jawa' pottery seems only to occur in a restricted zone: along wadi Zerqa, in the uplands about Jerash, northern Transjordan and, perhaps, in southern Syria.

However, Jawa was not only important in the Early Bronze Age. a Middle Bronze Age outpost was built within the walls of the earlier occupation, taking advantage of the strategic location of the site. Similarly, Tell Um Hammad was also re-occupied at the end of the Early Bronze Age, when a widespread village grew up, over and beyond the earlier settlement.

The reports presented in these volumes are the result of the inspiration and the dedicated inquiry of Svend Helms, and the fruits of much hard work in the field by a number of individuals. This first volume concerns the pottery and stratigraphy of Jawa in both the Early Bronze Age and the Middle Bronze Age. the second volume will consist of reports on the stratigraphy and finds from the early . . .

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