New evidence from Southern Jordan: rethinking the role of architecture in changing societies at the beginning of the Neolithic process
Finlayson, B., Kuijt, I. and Mithen, S. (2011) New evidence from Southern Jordan: rethinking the role of architecture in changing societies at the beginning of the Neolithic process. Paleorient (371). pp. 123-135. ISSN 0153-9345
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The development of architecture and the settlement is central to discussions concerning the Neolithic transformation asthe very visible evidence for the changes in society that run parallel to the domestication of plants and animals. Architecture hasbeen used as an important aspect of models of how the transformation occurred, and as evidence for the sharp difference betweenhunter-gatherer and farming societies. We suggest that the emerging evidence for considerable architectural complexity from theearly Neolithic indicates that some of our interpretations depend too much on a very basic understanding of structures which arenormally seen as being primarily for residential purposes and containing households, which become the organising principle for thenew communities which are often seen as fully sedentary and described as villages. Recent work in southern Jordan suggests that inthis region at least there is little evidence for a standard house, and that structures are constructed for a range of diverse primary purposes other than simple domestic shelters.