Universiteit Leiden

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Mobile Peoples - Permanent Places

donderdag 22 november 2018
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


  • Prof.dr. P.M.M.G. Akkermans

The construction and use of stone-built architecture by nomadic communities in the Jebel Qurma region of the Black Desert (Jordan) between the Hellenistic and Early Islamic periods.

This PhD research focuses on the archaeological remains of the Black Desert in Jordan that were left behind by communities of nomads in the late 1st millennium BC and the 1st millennium AD. The archaeological landscapes of this region are rich in stone-built features that are well-preserved, often above ground. The function and signifficance of these features to communities that were constantly on the move was thus far poorly known.

This research contributes to a better understanding of such constructions, which include monumental burial cairns and domestic structures. They have been investigated through archaeological field methods such as pedestrian surveys and excavation. Contrary to the common belief that nomads usually take all of their belongins with them and leave behind a more or less pristine, natural landscape, this research shows that in the past they tended to invest in their surroundings t o a cons iderable degree. This alternative notion of nomad-landscape interaction may offer a better understanding of some of the economic and social strategies of these nomads, their engagement with their natural environment and settled neighbours, and other aspects of their cultural repertoire that also included inscriptions and rock art.

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