+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

A GIS method for assessing the zone of human-environmental impact around archaeological sites: a test case from the Late Neolithic of Wadi Ziglab, Jordan



A GIS method for assessing the zone of human-environmental impact around archaeological sites: a test case from the Late Neolithic of Wadi Ziglab, Jordan



Journal of Archaeological Science 38(3): 623-632



Assessing the impact of prehistoric sites on their local environment is difficult to accomplish with standard archaeological methods. Simulation modeling offers a solution to this issue, but it is first necessary to delimit a site catchment, or "zone of impact", around archaeological sites in which to carry out human-environment interaction modeling. To that end, I have developed a new method for GIS-based catchment reconstruction and distilled it into a custom module (r.catchment) for GRASS GIS, which calculates catchments of a given area based on anisotropic travel costs from a point of origin. One method of applying this new module in exploratory catchment modeling is discussed using the pastoral economy of the Late Neolithic period in Wadi Ziqlab, Northern Jordan as a test case. A model of Late Neolithic herding economy and ecology is constructed, which combines data from archaeology, phytogeography, range science, agronomy, and ethnohistory. Four sizes of pastoral catchments are then derived using r.catchment, and the herd ecology model is used to estimate the stocking-rate (carrying capacity) of mixed goat and sheep herds for each catchment. The human populations these herd numbers could support (between 3 and 630 people in the Wadi) are then compared with human population estimates derived from household architectural analyses (between 18 and 54 people in the Wadi) to determine the most probable catchment configurations. The results indicate that the most probable zone of impact around the known late Neolithic sites in Wadi Ziqlab was somewhere between 9 and 20 square kilometers, delineated by 3 and 4.5 km pasture radii respectively.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 066240992

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2010.10.015


Related references

Khirbet Hammam (Whs 149): A Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Settlement in the Wadi el-Hasa, Jordan. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 334: 1-17, 2004

Test Excavations at the Neolithic Community of Wadi Shu'eib, Central Jordan, June 25, 1991. Syria 70(1-2): 235-239, 1993

Electromagnetic induction measurements at archaeological sites in the Wadi Fidan region of Jordan. Proceedings - Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems (SAGEEP) 2002: (12GAA2, 2002

Wadi Shueib, A Large Neolithic Community in Central Jordan: Final Report of Test Investigations. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 321: 1-39, 2001

Neolithic charcoal in Tell Wadi Fenan (Wadi Arabah, Jordan). Contributiones selectae ad floram et vegetationem Orientis Proceedings of the Third Plant Life of Southwest Asia Symposium, Berlin 1990: 121-132, 1991

Late Mesolithic and Early Neolithic human impact at Dutch wetland sites the case study of Hardinxveld-Giessendam De Bruin. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 23(1): 41-56, 2014

The Wadi Sirhan Project: Report on the 2002 Archaeological Reconnaissance of Wadi Hudruj and Jabal Tharwa, Jordan. Levant 37(1): 1-20, 2005

Observations on Late Bronze-Iron Age sites in the Wadi Hasa, Jordan. Levant 27(1): 29-37, 1995

Assessing the Impact of Coastal Erosion on Archaeological Sites: A Case Study from Northern Ireland. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 16(3): 185-211, 2014

Phytolith evidence for rice cultivation and spread in mid-late Neolithic archaeological sites in central north China. Boreas 39.3, 2010

Herders... or Homesteaders? A Neolithic Farm in Wadi Ziqlab, Jordan. The Biblical Archaeologist 58(1): 2-13, 1995

A feather for each wind that blows utilizing avifauna in assessing changing patterns in paleoecology and subsistence at Jordan Valley archaeological sites. Unknown, 2004

Late Mesolithic and early Neolithic forest disturbance: a high resolution palaeoecological test of human impact hypotheses. Quaternary Science Reviews 77: 80-100, 2013

Late Mesolithic and early Neolithic forest disturban a high resolution palaeoecological test of human impact hypotheses. 2013

Late Mesolithic and early Neolithic forest disturban a high resolution palaeoecological test of human impact hypotheses. 2013