Umm Meshrat I and II : two Late Neolithic sites along the Wadi ath-Thamad, Jordan
Cropper, Dawn Nadine
Umm Meshrat I and II are two adjacent sites located in the Wadi ath-Thamad survey area, approximately 20 km southeast of Madaba, Jordan. The survey team carried out surface collections and preliminary test probes at Umm Meshrat I and II during the 2001 season of the Wadi ath-Thamad project. The lithic and ceramic collections from both sites are the focus of this thesis. The analysis of the lithic and ceramic collections from Umm Meshrat I and II were carried out using lithic typology established by McCartney and Betts (1998) and the ceramic typology established by Garfinkel (1999). These particular typologies were selected in an effort to make the data from Umm Meshrat I and II comparable with other Late Neolithic sites in the southern Levant. The analysis demonstrated that both sites exhibit characteristics typical of the Late Neolithic period. Among the chipped stone assemblage, these typical artifacts include tile knives, ha-Parsa points, burins, drill bits on spalls, and debitage classes dominated by flakes. The pottery assemblages show similarities with both the Jericho IX and Yarmoukian traditions of the Late Neolithic period. Several decoration styles were identified in the collections from Umm Meshrat I and II including: wide painted lines, incised herringbone decoration, red painted triangular motifs, incised frames, and burnished red slip. Due to the small sample size the ceramic tradition at Umm Meshrat I and II could not be determined. While the analysis did not identify tradition, it did securely establish that a Late Neolithic occupation is present at both Umm Meshrat I and II. This is significant because few sites have been identified within this period. Thus, any information gained from the analysis from Umm Meshrat I and II will significandy add to the body of Late Neolithic research.