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Tabaqat al-Buma, Wadi Ziqlab

Tabaqat al-Buma (WZ 200) is a Late Neolithic farmstead in al-Kura district of northwestern Jordan that the Wadi Ziqlab Project discovered through sub-surface testing in 1987 (see map).

A summary of excavations at the site appears in Banning (1995), Herders or homesteaders? A Neolithic farm in Wadi Ziqlab, Jordan. Biblical Archaeologist 58: 2-13.

A preliminary report on the 1992 field season is available here.

A gallery of artifacts from WZ 200 appears here.

A gallery of views from the excavations appears here.

The stratigraphic history of the site is portrayed in the following series of maps:

The first Neolithic use of the site appears to have been as a cemetery. Excavations in 1987 and 1992 discovered two large cist graves, one of which (at the North end of the excavation), contained whole pots, grinding equipment and a spindle whorl in addition to parts of two human skeletons. The other contained the skeleton of a subadult with extreme enlargement of the tibia (a symptom consistent with treponematoses), and an infant wearing a dentalium-shell necklace. Both cists were covered with large stone slabs. In the neighbourhood of the southern grave, two houses were subsequently built, only parts of which we found.

In Neolithic phase 2, the previous structures were demolished, and probably four rectilinear structures, and several outdoor walls were built on the site, probably constituting a farmstead.

In the third Neolithic phase, most of the rooms of the earlier farmstead gradually fell into ruins and were used for refuse disposal, while a new long-room house was built to the West. A large mortar occupied the centre of its floor, and remained in place when a new cobbled floor was laid higher up, at the rim of the mortar. The site appears to have continued to be a farmstead.

The final Neolithic occupation of the site saw most of the previous buildings levelled, their ruins used as burial sites, while at least two new structures and an outdoor stone platform were constructed. The small room in the West part of the site had some built-in food-processing features, and two disk-shaped spindle whorls were found on its floor. The room to the Northeast had a cobbled floor.

A gallery of photographs from the fieldwork at Tabaqat al-Buma is currently under construction.

Web access to the Wadi Ziqlab Database is also currently under construction.


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