Nicholas Ames

Spring 2013

The archaeological site of Dhiban, Jordan is characterized by a complex legacy of colonial dominance by foreign empires. This turbulent history is reflected in its archaeological record, requiring a much greater detailed system of analysis than offered by standard analytical practices forinterpretation of site use.

To better unravel complex quotidian use at the site my project looks at site interpretive resolution of more standard “heavy-fraction” analysis (items >4mm in size) in relation to “microdebris” analysis (items <4mm in size), focusing on the patterning of microremains diachronically to ask: does the knowledge gained offset the analytical cost of this analysis? My project will expand on my current research on spatial patterning within a Middle Islamic (1000-1450 CE) storage context, conducting a comparative analysis between current data and Byzantine (400-630 CE) surfaces located at the site. By comparing these two sets of data to understand the cause-and-effect of plebeian social expression between these periods, I work to construct a solid narrative on greater social and economic trends, including the impact of state actions on local communities throughout this tumultuous, arid region. Such a comparison will tell us the most efficient and comprehensive methodology for excavation and interpreting archaeological sites of the future as well as the contribute to a better understanding of the daily lives of the people of Jordan’s past.