Alexander Wasse's research while affiliated with Yeditepe University and other places

Publications (32)

Book
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Throughout its history, the Sahara has been a stage for human evolution and cultural development, with human habitation, movement and life ways shaped by a dynamic environment of successive phases of relative humidity and aridity driven by wider global climatic changes. Recently, a large body of archaeological and environmental data has been genera...
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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...
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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...
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This article proposes that the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) hunter-forager-cultivator introductions to Cyprus from the northern Levant had a much more enduring impact on the Cypriot Aceramic Neolithic than subsequent agricultural introductions associated with the Early Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB). The presence at Ayios Tychonas-Klimonas of imp...
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On the Margins of Southwest Asia examines social change in Cyprus during the 6th to 4th millennia BC; a period that is traditionally viewed as one of prolonged cultural continuity and isolation from the mainland. Through the documentation and integration of technological practice and up-to-date climatic, ecological and environmental data, it is pro...
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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...
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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...
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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”...
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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...
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This paper synthesises the findings of three seasons of fieldwork in Western Sahara, focusing on the funerary and related archaeology of the Polisario-controlled «Free Zone». Building on the results of a reconnaissance survey in the Northern Sector of the Free Zone in 2002, new findings from a reconnaissance survey in the Southern Sector are presen...
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This report describes the results of a short archaeological reconnaissance of two areas in the greater Wadi Sirhan basin, the Wadi Hudruj gorge in the south and the Jibaal al-Tharwa in the north. This resulted in the discovery of over twenty new sites, ranging in date from the Middle Palaeolithic to the Early Bronze Age. Analysis of the results exp...
Article
This report presents the final results of an analysis of Neolithic sheep and goat bones from Ain Ghazal, Jordan. It proposes that domestic goats were present at Ain Ghazal from the time of the settlement's establishment at c. 9250 BP, that Persian wild goats were hunted in the vicinity of Ain Ghazal until c. 8500 BP, that domestic sheep were introd...

Citations

... This drainage continues to the south approximately 10 km before emptying into a plain about 40 km southeast of Azraq. Directly to the north of the qa', only a few isolated hunting or pastoral camps and burin sites are known [29]. Along this drainage system, 22 basalt-topped mesas rise above the desert floor by about 40-60 m (Figures 2 and 3). ...
... This perception of the kite as a form of monumentality, through the exaggeration of scale and form as an expression of status, identity and territoriality, provides one model for understanding the apparent development of increasingly complex kite forms, and why this would have had no clear improvement in hunting capabilities (Betts and Burke, 2021). The monumentality of kites also complements a wider recognition of their place within the symbolic and ritual spheres of Neolithic peoples in the region, as demonstrated by their appearance in rock art (Hill et al., 2020), and associated with carved human figures and a deposit of marine fossils at Jibal Al-Khashabiyeh in the south-east Badia (Abu-Azizeh and Tarawneh, 2022). Kites clearly formed a central role in terms of identity among social groups in the region. ...
... While it is true that we lack any physical evidence for the use of boats anywhere in the world at this time (Cherry and Leppard, 2015: 744), there is unequivocal -indirect -evidence for the use of water transport in the larger region from at least the Late Pleistocene. It is now accepted that Cyprus was colonized, probably from Anatolia, in the Epipaleolithic/Late Pleistocene (Simmons, 2014: 132-158), with further sea-borne migrations from the northern Levant in the Late PPNA/Early Holocene (Clarke and Wasse, 2019;Vigne et al., 2012). If these hunter-gatherers and early cultivators could undertake such long-distance maritime ventures, then it seems far from unreasonable to suggest a contemporary use of river craft during the 10th millennium BC. ...
... Despite evidence for cultural connections with the mainland throughout the Neolithic (e.g. Knapp, 2010;Simmons, 2012), pottery does not become widespread on Cyprus until after 5000 BC (Clarke, 2007), some 2000 years later than its sustained production in Upper Mesopotamia, the northern Levant and Anatolia. Accounting for the differences in the timing of pottery adoption will need to consider regionally specific cultural patterns and economic decisions. ...
... Red ochre is also known as 'jeweller's rouge' and is used to achieve high polish on decorative objects, potentially including the stone sphere, likely a so-called 'token' (cf. Schmandt-Besserat 1992; note also a possible incised, conical stone 'token' fragment from structure M7 SS-1 at Wādī al-Qaṭṭāfī [Rollefson et al. 2017: fig. 16a]), and 'mace-head' fragment at Fig. 15a-b. ...
... Ongoing research includes the Epipalaeolithic Foragers in Azraq project currently excavating Kharaneh IV to the southwest of the GAOA Macdonald et al., 2018;Maher and Macdonald, 2020), as well as research at Qa' Shubayqa in the northern portion of the basin (Richter et al., 2017(Richter et al., , 2019. More recent periods are also the focus of multiple ongoing projects in the region (e.g., Abu Azizeh et al., 2014;Akkermans et al., 2014;Rowan et al., 2015Rowan et al., , 2017Huigens, 2018). ...
... Most of the rest of the archaeological material ranges from the Late Neolithic of early and late 7th millennium to the Early Bronze Age of the late 4th millennium BCE, with a major gap in settlement until the Safaitic period. One dwelling on the southwest slope of M-4 dated to 5480-5320 cal BCE (Wasse et al., 2012), and another on the south slope of M-7 yielded four radiocarbon dates of 6455 to 6236 cal BCE (Rollefson et al. 2016, Rollefson et al., 2017. Atop Mesa 4 there are 262 structures (not included in the 800 total), although these include tombs and animal pens/farming enclosures as well as dwellings; it is probable that many of them are Early Bronze Age in date (mid-fourth millennium BCE). ...
... MacDonald 1993). The corpus also contains tribal signs (wusūm, wasm in singular) (see Berghuijs 2017) and abundant petroglyphs, ranging from prehistoric (Neolithic to Early Bronze Age) depictions of wild and domestic animals and humans, such as the Neolithic petroglyphs from Dhuweila (Betts 1998), to scenes from historical periods, such as dromedaries, sometimes depicted with riders (see Rollefson et al. 2008). ...
... In this work, using the OSL signals from quartz and feldspars in rock slices (without mineral separation) taken from the surface of rocks that had been exposed to sunlight during construction and destruction, they obtained the OSL ages consistent with historical and archaeological evidences. Athanassas et al. (2015) performed quartz OSL dating of prehistoric stone structures observed at Wadi Wisad, northern Arabian Desert, using sediments underneath the basaltic rocks (these were called "slabs" by the authors), and showed that their OSL ages were in good agreement with the previous radiocarbon ages on charcoals from the settlement site of Wisad Pools, Jordan. These authors later carried out quartz OSL dating on dolmens in Spain (Athanassas et al., 2017). ...
... L. Kennedy, 2011: 3186). Constructed primarily from local basalt or sandstone, and ranging in size and form from small cairns and tower tombs through to monumental mustatil and "desert kites"; these structures have been dated as early as the eighth-seventh millennia BCE (Athanassas et al., 2015: 10; D. L. Kennedy, Banks, & Dalton, 2015;Thomas et al., 2021a). However, due to their prominence in the landscape, these structures have frequently suffered from disturbance and reuse, both ancient and modern. ...