Use of experimental archaeology to examine and interpret Pre-Pottery Neolithic architecture: a case study of Beidha in southern Jordan
Dennis, Samantha Jo
Many significant cultural transitions, including the beginnings of sedentism, domestication, and farming, are thought to have taken place during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) in southern Jordan. The settlement sites of this period (often referred to as the first villages) are rich in architectural remains, and this evidence is frequently used to support hypotheses on the degree of sedentism and how societies were structured. This research reexamines these issues through the construction, maintenance, destruction and decay of four experimental reconstructions built between 2001 and 2006 at the PPNB site of Beidha. The results of the experiments provide a more intimate understanding of PPNB architecture, including prehistoric construction methods and techniques, maintenance costs, spatial organisation, and post-abandonment events. The results also contributed to the conservation and presentation of early prehistoric sites to the public.