Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationCalifornia, Berkeley, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9946
Approve DateOctober 24, 2019
Project TitleGibbs, Kevin (California, Berkeley, U. of) "Archaeology and environment at Late Neolithic WQ117, Jordan"
The Neolithic transition from hunting-gathering to farming is a key topic in Near Eastern archaeology. Most Neolithic research emphasizes the Early Neolithic, including the first appearance of farming in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A period (PPNA; 11,700-10,500 years ago) and the subsequent emergence of large ‘mega-sites’ towards the end of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB; 10,500-8700 years ago). The Late Neolithic (8400-7200 years ago) has received less attention, despite evidence that it represents the culmination of the Neolithic process and the first adoption of a fully agricultural lifestyle. One under-investigated aspect of Late Neolithic archaeology is the impact of climate change on people. Specifically, the 8.2 ka event was a period of abrupt cooling and decreased precipitation that occurred during the Late Neolithic. This project investigates possible temporal correlations between the 8.2 ka event and cultural change through excavation at WQ117 in Jordan. WQ117 is an ideal site for investigating this because it is one of the few sites with evidence for cultural change within the initial (Yarmoukian) phase of the Late Neolithic. This project represents a significant step toward understanding the impacts of the 8.2 ka event and aims to provide long-term insights to discussions of 21st century climate change.