Ba'ja 2003: Summary on the 5th Season of Excavation

Hans Georg K. Gebel, Free University of Berlin
Bo Dahl Hermansen, Carsten Niebuhr Institute, Copenhagen University


Ba'ja 2003: Summary on the 5th Season of Excavation
Major Results of the 5th Campaign


From 30th of Aug. - 15th of Sept., 2003 the fifth season of excavation took place at the Early Neolithic site of Ba'ja - al-Mehmad, Wadi Musa district, Governorate of Ma'an. The Ba'ja Neolithic Project is directed by Hans Georg K. Gebel, Free University of Berlin, and Bo Dahl Hermansen, Copenhagen University (deputy director) in cooperation with the Department of Antiquities, Amman. The representative of the Jordanian Government at the dig was Hussein Jerah, Deir Alla (archaeologist). Members of the team in addition to the directors included Mareike Andresen (student, archaeology), Jürgen Baumgarten (assistant archaeologist), Christian Hannß (geomorphologist), Rasmus Kehlet (archaeologist), Moritz Kinzel (architect), Anne Moenster (student, archaeology), Saif Talal al-Quran (archaeologist), Muhammad Barakat Tarawneh (archaeologist), Klaus Traulsen (dig technician). The project is supported by ex oriente, a research association at Free University of Berlin, and cooperates with the Carsten Niebuhr Institute at Copenhagen University.

The site of Ba'ja, located in an extreme mountain setting and difficult to reach through a narrow gorge (Siq al-Ba'ja) (Gebel and Hermansen 1999, 2000, 2001; Gebel 2001, 2004a), lies some 10 km north of Petra/Wadi Musa. This small Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic B village (2nd half of the 8th millennium BC, c. 1.2-1.5 ha) is part of a local settlement system in which the mega-sites of al-Baseet (Wadi Musa) and Basta (near Ail) also flourished. Ba'ja is characterized by pueblo-type dense domestic areas, where sandstone rings of bracelet-size were fabricated for export. Recent considerations have emphasized that the extreme location also might be related to topographically favored chances for water harvesting in the gorge passing the site (Gebel 2004b).

   Related Downloads
H.G.K. Gebel and B.D. Hermansen, Ba'ja 2003: Summary on the 5th Season of Excavation. Neo-Lithics 2/04: 15-18.
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