Journal of Islamic Archaeology, Vol 5, No 1 (2018)

Agro-pastoral productions and landscape evolution during Antiquity and Islamic periods (AD 1st–12th centuries) at Dharih (Jordan)

Charlène Bouchaud, Hervé Monchot, François Villeneuve, Piotr Makowski, Anaïs Marrast
Issued Date: 19 Dec 2018


Dharih is a rural site located in the Jordanian higlands and occupied mainly from the 1st to the 12th centuries AD, which correspond to Nabataeo-Roman, Byzantine-Umayyad and Middle Islamic I periods. The Jordanian-French excavations revealed substantial amount of plant macro-remains, charcoal and animal bones material. Their study give new insights regarding the agro-pastoral productions and landscape evolution. Results show the existence of agro-pastoral communities that rely on the same type of plant and animal products through time despite of the socio-politic changes. Main crops include barley (Hordeum vulgare), free-threshing wheat (Triticum aestivum/ durum/turgidum), bitter vetch (Vicia ervilia), lentil (Lens culinaris), olive (Olea europaea), grape (Vitis vinifera) and fig (Ficus carica). Goat/sheep (Capra hircus/Ovis aries), cattle (Bos taurus) and pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) dominate the bone assemblages. They reflect the efficiency of runoff and partly irrigated farming systems that are intrinsically linked to dry climatic and rugged topographic conditions. The presence of water-demanding trees and the multiplicity of irrigation devices maybe indicate the presence of relative humid conditions during the Nabataeo-Roman period, while the importance of scrubs and the disappearance of irrigation structures might indicate an increase of aridity afterwards induced by climatic and/or human drivers. Finally, bioarchaeological data are used in order to precise the economic status of the inhabitants during Middle Islamic I.

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DOI: 10.1558/jia.37691


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