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Saturday, 13 March 2010

Past hits back, 03, 2010 - Celtic brain surgeons and more

Today:

  1. Valley in Jordan inhabited and irrigated for 13,000 years
  2. Donegal brain surgeon at work in AD 800, burial site reveals
  3. Indian doctor world's first plastic surgeon?
  4. Did Chinese ships discover America?
  5. Modern man and Neanderthals had sex across the species barrier, according to leading geneticist Professor Svante Paabo.
Shorties:
  1. Archaeologists find mummy of young priestess from 300-450 AD in Peru
  2. New discoveries at world's oldest submerged town
  3. Australian archaeologists uncover 40,000-year-old site

Valley in Jordan inhabited and irrigated for 13,000 years

November 18, 2009

Dutch researcher Eva Kaptijn succeeded in discovering - based on 100,000 finds - that the Zerqa Valley in Jordan had been successively inhabited and irrigated for more than 13,000 years. But it was not just communities that built irrigation systems: the irrigation systems also built communities.

The area where she undertook her research is also called the Zerqa Triangle; it is bounded by the River Zerqa and forms part of the Jordan Valley. The area covers roughly 72 square kilometres. Kaptijn discovered that the triangle had been inhabited, on and off, for thousands of years, but that this habitation was always highly dependent on the methods used by those who lived there. While the soil in the valley is very rich, there was usually not enough rainfall to cultivate plants without some additional irrigation.

The irrigation methods exerted a major influence on the people who lived in the valley; power was often dependent on controlling the allocation of water. Kaptijn discovered that the type of could result in a community of internally egalitarian tribes, with these tribes being linked to each other in a strict, hierarchical order. At other times, the valley was actually dominated by a large-scale, almost capitalist cultivation of sugar cane. source

My comment: Isn't it interesting that something as simple as the irrigation would change the type of the society of the people living there? I find it quite interesting. Too bad the article doesn't specify what type of society lived there 13 000 years ago.

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