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Stone Age Excavations and Surveys in Jordan and Spain

Ain Difla rock shelter

This series of surveys in Jordan and Spain involving Regents' Professor Emeritus Geoffrey Clark spans the Lower Paleolithic to the Neolithic and reaches from Jordan to Spain. Human adaptation across the ages is at the projects' core.

This series of surveys in Jordan and Spain involving Regents' Professor Emeritus Geoffrey Clark spans the Lower Paleolithic to the Neolithic and reaches from Jordan to Spain. Human adaptation across the ages is at the projects' core.

  • Shammakh-to-Ayl Archaeological Survey (SAAS), South Jordan
  • Ayl-to-Ras en'Naqb Archaeological Survey (ARNAS), West-Central Jordan
  • Wadi Hasa North Bank Survey (WHNBS), West-Central Jordan
  • Wadi Hasa Paleolithic Project (WHPP), West-Central Jordan

Based on Burton MacDonald’s Wadi Hasa Survey (WHS, 1979-1983), the Jordanian surveys are general surveys for all time periods (the only kind for which the Jordanian Department of Antiquities will issue a permit). In aggregate they encompass a good-sized chunk of west-central Jordan between Ayl and Ras en'Naqb (near Petra) and extending from the western edge of the Jordan Plateau to the Desert Highway some 70 km to the East.

Clark's involvement in these projects is limited to the Stone Age sites (everything from the Lower Paleolithic to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic). The work is oriented toward tracking long-term human adaptation to lacustrine environments through time. Collections from the WHS, WHNBS and ARNAS are stored at ASU.

Funded by NSF, NGS and SSHRC grants, the work involved excavation of Paleolithic and Epipaleolithic sites with buried, stratified deposits, producing (so far) 3 monographs, >50 publications, 6 PhDs and 7 MA degrees, and an NSF-funded ‘daughter project’ (Coinman & Olszewski's Eastern Hasa Late Paleolithic Project).

  • Sopeña, a Middle & Upper Paleolithic Rockshelter, Asturias, North-Central Spain
Sopena rockshelter

Sopena Rockshelter overlooking the valley of the Rio Guena, east-central Asturias.

Sopeña is a rockshelter in the mountains of eastern Asturias that contains a sequence of 15 Middle and Upper Paleolithic levels dated between 22.2 and 41.1 ka cal BP. With excellent preservation of fauna and organics, the site spans the transition between the Middle and Upper Paleolithic, the interval during which the Neanderthals were replaced by modern humans. 

 

Note: These projects may no longer be externally funded, but collaborative research opportunities may still exist.

Funding Sources: 
National Science Foundation
National Geographic Society
Chase National Bank
Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada 

Geoffrey Clark, Arizona State University School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Principal Investigator (WHPP, WHNBS)