New Neolithic Complex Discovered in Jordan

In Jordan’s southeastern desert a Neolithic complex of 9,000-year-old stone carvings was uncovered by archaeologists.

Jordanian and French archaeologists were responsible for the find and announced it through a press conference held by the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Experts believe that the site is a ritual installation uniquely dedicated to the hunting of gazelles. It features huge stone traps called “desert kites.” Experts think they may be the world’s oldest large-scale human sculptures.

The desert kite hunting traps are made of long stone walls that led prey to an enclosure where they could be corralled.

Archaeologists also discovered the campsites of the hunters whose whole lives centered on the traps and hunting game. They lived in semi-subterranean circle shaped huts.

Experts say this new discovery will give them new understanding of these ancient people’s spiritual and creative expressions. Two stone carvings, named Ghassan and Abu Ghassan make up most of the discovery. The taller, 112 centimeters, is carved with a desert kite incorporated into a human figure. The smaller, 70 centimeters, is a very detailed human face.

Other finds in the dig revealed a ritual altar stone, a purposefully arranged collection of about 150 marine fossils, a hearth, animal figurines and finely crafted flint objects.

 

Victor Crew