Neolithic woodland composition and exploitation in the Southern Levant: a comparison between archaeobotanical remains from WF16 and present day woodland at Hammam Adethni
Mithen, S.J., Austin, P., Kennedy, K., Lancaster, N., Emberson, H. and Finlayson, B.L. (2007) Neolithic woodland composition and exploitation in the Southern Levant: a comparison between archaeobotanical remains from WF16 and present day woodland at Hammam Adethni. Environmental Archaeology: the Journal of Human Palaeoecology, 12. pp. 49-70. ISSN 1461-4103
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1179/174963107x172741
Excavations at the Pre-Pottery Neolithic site of WF16 in the Southern Levant produced an archaeobotanical assemblage constituted by plant macro-fossils and wood charcoal. As with all such assemblages, its species composition will most likely provide a biased reflection of those within the Neolithic woodland that had been exploited owing to cultural selection and differential preservation. As a means of facilitating its interpretation, a survey was undertaken of a relatively undisturbed patch of gallery woodland associated with a permanent water course at Hammam Adethni, approximately four kilometres south-east of WF16. The substantial overlap of the species within this woodland and those in the archaeobotanical assemblage suggests that this present-day woodland provides an analogue for that of the Neolithic and may therefore indicate what other plant resources the inhabitants of WF16 may have exploited, but which have left no archaeological trace. The interpretation of the results is supported by a comparative study of wood charcoal from present-day Bedouin hearths in Wadi Faynan.