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Book: Transitions, Urbanism, and Collapse in the Bronze Age

Chapter: 8. The Lower Jordan Valley, Southern Ghors and Wadi Arabah: A Case for Urban Life in Jordan in the Third Millennium BC

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.37724


This paper focuses on tracing the development of urbanism through major transitions in the Early Bronze Age, particularly in Jordan. The paper revisits various pertinent topics for the Early Bronze Age, such as continuity/discontinuity, urbanization, and the city-state model, in light of recent discoveries and research. The article will survey sites primarily from the Lower Jordan Valley and the Ghors from the Chalcolithic through the EB IV period. The author will attempt to make the case for urbanization, continuity, and the city-state model in Jordan. The article also considers the Egyptian presence and possible influence on urbanism in the period. During the fourth millennium BCE the southern Levant was in permanent contact with Egypt through copper trade. Evidence for this trade in Jordan was found in the archaeological excavations conducted at sites, such as Hujeirat el-Ghuzlan and Maqas, on the eastern side of the Wadi Arabah. This relationship enhanced at the beginning of the third millennium BCE, after the start of the Dynastic Period in Egypt and, undoubtedly, impacted the urbanization development in the southern Levant. I dedicate this brief survey on the Early Bronze Age to my dear friend and colleague for many years in Jordan, Dr. Suzanne Richard.

Chapter Contributors

  • Zeidan Kafafi ( - ZKafafi) 'Yarmouk University'