'Ain Ghazal: A Major Neolithic Settlement in Central Jordan

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Science  01 Apr 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4848, pp. 35-39
DOI: 10.1126/science.240.4848.35


'Ain Ghazal, an archeological site located on the outskirts of Amman, Jordan, is one of the largest early villages known in the Near East. The site dates to the Neolithic period, during which mankind made one of its most significant advances, the adoption of domestic plants and animals as primary subsistence sources. Recent excavations at 'Ain Ghazal have augmented considerably current knowledge of several aspects of the Neolithic. Of particular interest has been the documentation of a continuous, or near continuous, occupation from early through late Neolithic components, and a concomitant dramatic economic shift. This shift was from a broad subsistence base relying on a variety of both wild and domestic plants and animals, to an economic strategy reflecting an apparent emphasis on pastoralism.