Margaret Ann Judd

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Pittsburgh, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9786

Approve Date

April 27, 2019

Project Title

Judd, Margaret (University of Pittsburgh) "Multi-resource subsistence among ancient Jordanian pastoralists and townsfolk: health, diet and paleoethnobiology"

This project integrates multiple bioarchaeological lines of evidence to support the multi-resource nomadism model from the biological perspective between pastoral nomads and settled townsfolk in north-central Jordan during the Iron Age II (~1000-539BCE) and historic Ottoman periods (1324-1922). Assuming symbiotic regional relationships and a desire to survive during fluctuating environmental hardships, it is proposed here that health, life quality, local knowledge and dietary profiles of the settled Iron Age community was comparable to that of regional nomadic groups and diversity was not essentialized by mobility. The project integrates dietary isotope analysis (carbon/nitrogen), mobility isotope analysis (strontium/oxygen), plant phytolith and dairy protein analysis of dental calculus, and human skeletal paleopathology to address this problem. This project gives a voice and identity to relatively marginalized past peoples in Jordan: nomadic groups who by nature of being mobile are archaeologically invisible and occasionally biologically present, and the Iron Age townsfolk who are archaeologically rich, but biologically absent. The biological impact of multi-resource nomadism and preserved indigenous local knowledge is introduced to the evolving discourse on ancient pastoralism.