Rural complexity after urban collapse: an EB IV olive oil "factory" at Khirbet Ghozlan [ASOR 2020]

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“Investigating rural complexity after urban collapse: new excavations of an EB IV olive oil ‘manufacturing unit’ at Khirbet Ghozlan, Jordan” was once introduced by way of James Fraser (British Museum) with co-author Caroline Cartwright (British Museum) within the consultation “Archaeology of Jordan I” on Sunday, November 15, 2020. Also on our channel you’ll additionally see a feature-length presentation Dr. Fraser delivered at ACOR in October 2019 on olive oil and Khirbet Ghozlan, in addition to a 2017 presentation about megalithic dolmen tombs.

The overdue third millennium BCE (EB IV) within the southern Levant has historically been described as a rural interlude between the cave in of the area’s first proto-urban centres within the EB II-II and their rejuvenation as a community of city-states at the start of the MBA. During this era, populations are idea to have dispersed into village communities that practiced easy types of agro-pastoral farming. However, those approaches have failed to acknowledge the importance of a number of small however well-defended “enclosure” websites. These websites have been new foundations at the well-drained slopes of the Jordan Rift Valley escarpment, that are higher fitted to the cultivation of upland tree plants than the flood-prone Jordan Valley flooring.

The Khirbet Ghozlan Excavation Project proposes a style of horticultural specialisation that translates enclosure websites as processing centres for upland fruit plants akin to olive and grape, and means that they have been enclosed to shield seasonal caches of cash-crop commodities akin to oil and wine. This style explores how high-value liquid merchandise helped advertise a fancy rural financial system that reconfigured sides of previous urban manufacturing inside of smaller-scale exploitation of area of interest environmental zones. Ultimately, such types of financial resilience can have underlain the rejuvenation of urban programs within the early 2d millennium BCE.

This paper items the result of the 2017 and 2019 excavations at the 0.4 ha enclosure website online of Khirbet Ghozlan, partially funded as an ASOR Harris Grant. It comprises the architectural, ceramic, lithic and botanical proof for overdue prehistoric olive oil manufacturing and garage.

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