Archaeologists found a 9,000-year-old shrine in the Jordanian desert


Amman, Jordan (AP) — A team of Jordanian and French archaeologists said on Tuesday that they had discovered a approximately 9,000-year-old shrine in a remote Neolithic region of the eastern desert of Jordan.

The ceremonial complex is located at a Neolithic campsite near a large structure known as the Masstrap, which is believed to have been used to enclose wild gazelle for “desert kites” or slaughter. It was discovered.

Such traps consist of two or more long stone walls that converge towards the enclosure and are scattered in the deserts of the Middle East.

Wael Abu-Azziza, a Jordanian archaeologist who is the co-director of the project, said:

Inside the shrine are two engraved standing stones depicting anthropomorphic figures, one with the expression “desert kite”, an altar, a hearth, a shell, and a miniature of a gazelle trap. Comes with a model.

Researchers said in a statement that the shrine “shines a whole new light on the symbolism, artistic expression, and spiritual culture of these previously unknown Neolithic people.”

The proximity of the site to the trap suggests that the inhabitants were professional hunters and that the trap was “a cultural, economic and even symbolic center of life in this marginal zone”. increase.

The team included archaeologists from the University of Al Hussein Bintalal in Jordan and the Institute for Near Eastern France. This site was excavated during the most recent excavation season in 2021.

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