For her PhD research Lauren is investigating past occupation surfaces at Wadi Hammeh 27 (WH27), an Early Natufian site in Jordan. WH27 had a short occupation and dates to between 12,000 -12,500 cal BCE (Edwards 2014). Three occupation phases within in this 500 year period have been identified. Interestingly, during each occupation phase the structures were rebuilt on the same location (Edwards 2014). I will use micromorphology and geochemical analyses of aggregated monoliths and disaggregated sediment samples to investigate these occupation phases.
The micromorphological investigation will focus on the stratigraphy and important features from Phases 1 to 3 at WH 27. A geochemical survey of sediments will complement the micromorphological investigation. Disaggregated sediment samples were taken from 18 excavation squares within Phase 3. Samples will be tested using several different geochemical techniques to identify the presence/ absence of elements, minerals, chemicals and weathering which can be used to narrow down past human activities undertaken at each sample location. For example, phosphates have been used to indicate both human and animal presence at archaeological sites.
This research will increase our current knowledge regarding Early Natufian occupation cycles and activates undertaken at Wadi Hammeh 27.
Edwards, P.C., Ice Age villagers of the Levant: renewed excavations at the Natufian site of Wadi Hammeh 27, Jordan, Antiquity.