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American archaeologist explores Tell Jalul in central Jordan

30 Dec 2017

(Jordan Times) Tell Jalul, located 5km east of Madaba, is the largest tell( hill or mound) that covers 7.2 hectares in central Jordan, said Paul Ray, who holds a PhD in Near Eastern archaeology and is a co-director of Jalul Excavation project. 

The earliest period of occupation at the site was the Early Bronze Age (third millennium BC), he noted, adding that the evidence for settlement at this time consists of a room on the southeastern side of the tell. 

"Ceramic evidence for the Early Bronze Age and the Middle and Late Bronze Age [most of the second millennium BC] has been found all over the site," Ray said.

Iron Age and Persian period (12th-5th centuries BC) structures have been found in most of the excavation areas (labelled Fields A-H, and W), the American scholar explained, noting that these structures have likely recycled the stone foundations from many of Bronze Age structures that existed before them. 

Furthermore, evidence from animal bones and seeds indicate that the inhabitants of the site lived on a mixed agro-pastoral subsistence economy, based on the dry farming cultivation of grains, with cattle used as draft animals, and large amounts of products from sheep and goats supplemented occasionally by the hunting of wild species, and importing fish from distant salt-water ports, the archaeologist elaborated. 

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