Yorke M. Rowan

Yorke M. Rowan
University of Chicago | UC · Oriental Institute

PhD

About

87
Publications
38,039
Reads
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948
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2018 - present
The University of Chicago
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2015 - September 2018
University of Chicago
Position
  • Research Associate
July 2008 - July 2015
University of Chicago
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (87)
Article
Full-text available
Summarizes the 2018 field season at Wisad Pools, with a concentration on results of excavation of Late Neolithic building W80.
Article
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This paper presents the results of a large scale, drone-based aerial survey in northeastern Jordan. Drones have rapidly become one of the most cost-effective and efficient tools for collecting high-resolution landscape data, fitting between larger-scale, lower-resolution satellite data collection and the significantly more limited traditional terre...
Article
The collection of 3D point data is a common bottleneck for archaeological excavations despite an increasing range of powerful spatial data collection technologies. Total stations often require a dedicated operator, and they are optimal for excavation-level data collection over relatively short line-of-site distances. Precision Global Navigation Sat...
Article
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This paper presents a summary of work undertaken by the authors and their teams on a series of Qe'an (plural of Qa’), in the Badia of eastern Jordan. These basins are a foci for settlement in the region, with the sites described here (Shubayqa, Wisad and the Qa’ Qattafi) edged by archaeological sites dating from the late Epipalaeolithic (ca. 14,500...
Article
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This article proposes that so-called burin sites represent the herding element of what is here defined as the Black Desert Neolithic cultural complex, that being the material manifestation of the hunter-gatherer-herder society that utilised the harrah and limestone steppe as far north as the Palmyra range during the Late Neolithic. An association w...
Article
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In the southern Levant, fundamental changes in economic organization, mortuary practices, and settlement patterns took place during the 5th to early 4th millennium B.C.E., or the Chalcolithic period (ca. 4500–3700/3600 B.C.E.). Our best evidence derives from sites in the Negev, and to a lesser degree, the Jordan Valley and Golan Heights, and the mo...
Article
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Petroglyphs are well known in the Negev, eastern and southern Jordan, and the Arabian Peninsula. Intensive documentation of hundreds of petroglyphs at the site of Wisad Pools in the Black Desert of eastern Jordan records animals, humans, hunting traps and geometric designs, connecting people and places to the larger landscape. These were recorded a...
Article
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The emergence of social complexity in the Southern Levant during the Chalcolithic (c. 4500–3600 cal. BC) was intimately tied to intensification in animal management. For the first time, secondary products such as milk and wool were intensively exploited, supplying communities with increasingly diverse foodstuffs and raw materials for craft producti...
Article
We examine and reinterpret the phenomenon of containers used for the secondary burial of human remains – ossuaries – in the Chalcolithic period of the southern Levant, c.4500–3700 BCE. Ossuary form and decoration, both plastic and painted, is evocative and symbol-laden. Since their first discovery in the 1930s, several hypotheses have sought to exp...
Book
The volume offers a comprehensive introduction to the archaeology of the southern Levant (modern day Israel, Palestine and Jordan) from the Paleolithic period to the Islamic era, presenting the past with chronological changes from hunter-gatherers to empires. Written by an international team of scholars in the fields of archaeology, epigraphy, and...
Book
The volume offers a comprehensive introduction to the archaeology of the southern Levant (modern day Israel, Palestine and Jordan) from the Paleolithic period to the Islamic era, presenting the past with chronological changes from hunter-gatherers to empires. Written by an international team of scholars in the fields of archaeology, epigraphy, and...
Chapter
The Social Archaeology of the Levant - edited by Assaf Yasur-Landau December 2018
Chapter
The Social Archaeology of the Levant - edited by Assaf Yasur-Landau December 2018
Chapter
Full-text available
The Social Archaeology of the Levant - edited by Assaf Yasur-Landau December 2018
Article
Full-text available
Drones, or Unpiloted Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), are quickly changing approaches to archaeological mapping. They are effective tools for documenting smaller ancient features that might be missed by the resolution limitations of satellite imagery. As part of the Eastern Badia Archaeological Project, this article presents the preliminary results of a lar...
Article
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Major cultural transformations took place in the southern Levant during the late prehistoric periods (ca. mid-seventh through fourth millenna B.C.E.). General syntheses rarely include more than cursory mention of the more arid regions of the southern Levant (Negev, eastern and southern Jordan). The Eastern Badia Archaeological Project [EBAP] study...
Article
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Endangered today, gazelles were both economically and symbolically important to the peoples of the ancient Near East. In various contexts, the gazelle has represented liminality, death, and rebirth. Gazelles held special significance in the southern Levant, where archaeologists have docu- mented cases, spanning 20,000 years, of ritual behavior invo...
Article
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Ground stone tools served in many physical and social contexts through millennia, reflecting a wide variety of functions. Although ground stone tool studies were neglected for much of early archaeology, the last few decades witnessed a notable international uptick in the way archaeologists confront this multifaceted topic. Today, with the advance o...
Article
These two edited volumes reflect the continuing surge of interest in the archaeology of religious practice and belief. Over the past 20 years, archaeologists have turned their focus on the study of ritual and religion, challenging what Hawkes (1954: 162) considered the highest and most difficult to reach rung on his ladder of inference: “religious...
Article
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Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating has provided the first absolute dates for the prehistoric stone arrangements known as ‘wheels’, found in Jordan's Black Desert region. These sub-circular enclosures are one form of a series of enigmatic structures known as ‘works of the old men’. Over 1000 ‘wheels’ have been identified in the basalt fi...
Article
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Feasting is a common part of human culture in the present and past that can serve a variety of roles such as creating and maintaining social identities within and between social groups. In zooarchaeology, feasting evidence, rather than the accumulated and mixed refuse from long-term consumption, often gives us some of the only data from individual...
Article
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Cave deposits represent a special category of archaeological context that invokes its own set of research questions. The interpretation of these deposits, however, is often based on unfounded assumptions. The idea of ‘cave men’ utilizing caves as domestic space persists to this day, both in the public imagination and in archaeological interpretatio...
Article
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Major cultural transformations took place in the southern Levant during the late prehistoric periods (ca. late 7th–4th millennia B.C.). Agropastoralists expanded into areas previously only sparsely occupied and secondary animal products played an increasingly important economic role. In the arable parts of the southern Levant, the olive in particul...
Article
In this paper we generate chronological constraints through optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating on extensive prehistoric stone structures that stretch out in the Arabian Desert and appear as geometric lines, known as the “Works of the Old Men”. Two major types of the “Works” that are common throughout the Arabian Desert are the “wheels”...
Article
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Aerial photography in archaeology is nothing new. Recent years have witnessed an expansion in use and utility thanks to the rapid development of a variety of technologies. There are many ways to get a camera into the air over archaeological sites and landscapes and even more uses for the resultant aerial photographs. At the Chalcolithic site of Mar...
Article
The Chalcolithic site of Marj Rabba, in the lower Galilee of Israel, features shallow limestone structures situated in a terra rossa matrix. Calcareous substrates such as terra rossa, common throughout the region, are often not considered amenable to ground-penetrating radar (GPR) studies due to strong attenuation, particularly within the relativel...
Article
Full-text available
Pioneering research by Betts and by Garrard in the eastern steppe and desert of Jordan demonstrated the presence of Late Neolithic (c. 7000–5000 cal BC) pastoral exploitation of this currently arid/hyper-arid region, but the scale of Late Neolithic presence in the area was difficult to assess from the reports of their surveys and excavations. Recen...
Chapter
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Introduction Although digital image collection and manipulation for the non-destructive recording of rock art is a well-established part of rock art documentation (Rip 1983), recent technological developments have created new, cost-effective recording and analysis tools formerly unfeasible for most scholars (Chandler and Fryer 2005; Chandler et al....
Conference Paper
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A season of excavation in the summer of 2011 at Wisad Pools, in Jordan's Black Desert, has revealed how inadequate regional paleoclimatic models based on proxies from the western Levant are when it comes to understanding changes in the exploitation potentials at distances far removed from the Mediterranean coastal regimes. The exposure of a Late Ne...
Article
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The Chalcolithic period in the Southern Levant witnessed increasing social differentiation and economic specialization. Some of the most important sources of economic specialization were animal products, particularly the secondary products of sheep, goats, and cattle. Also important, though neglected in the literature, were pigs. In this paper, we...
Article
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Through an examination of representations of cultural heritage in miniature this paper tackles the recurrent question of how culture, the nation, and the past are presented to the public. Exploring how this is achieved at the microcosm of Mini Israel, an outdoor park midway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv where you can "see it all small" (Shapira 20...
Article
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Background In the southern Levant, major cultural and demographic changes occurred during the Chalcolithic period (4500—3600 BC). Concomitant with the expansion of villages, horticulture and the secondary products of animals played increasingly important roles in the economy. Craft production exhibited greater technological expertise, materials wer...
Article
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Human beings find caves, and the subterranean dimension in general, alluring. But the subterranean is also viewed with trepidation, the locus of unknown dangers and mysteries. The idea of the cave as a place of divine immanence, a zone of contact with "otherworldliness," is one that extends across millennia and continents, and one that is significa...
Article
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The serendipity of discovery can determine the process and progress of the archaeological interpretation of religious belief and ritual practice. The Chalcolithic period (4500–3600 B.C.E.) of the southern Levant is used as a case study. Had the material expressions of Chalcolithic religion been discovered in a different sequence, our understanding...
Article
Until recently, the study of religion and ritual by archaeologists was typically found among those studying “world religions,” particularly those with the benefit of texts. Building upon a renewed interest in archaeological explorations of ancient religion and sacred ritual, the authors in this volume construct new understandings of the material fo...
Article
Full-text available
In the southern Levant, the late fifth millennium to mid-fourth millennium BC—traditionally known as the Chalcolithic period—witnessed major cultural transformations in virtually all areas of society, most notably craft production, mortuary and ritual practices, settlement patterns, and iconographic and symbolic expression. A degree of regionalism...