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Decoding the Ancient Sacred Landscapes of the Arid Southern Levant (Southern Jordan/Israel): The Desert Cults Mapping Project

The proposed project investigates the sacred landscapes of the southern arid margins of the Levant (now southern Jordan/Israel), as observed by the spatial distribution and the material culture of the cultic and funerary sites of the mostly semi-pastoral peoples that lived in the area from the Neolithic to the Early Islamic period (ca. 10,000 BCE-1000 CE). This project’s principal aim is to make a diachronic study of the cultic and mortuary traditions of the Negev Desert, the southern Jordanian plateau and the Hisma Desert, to determine how they grew and developed, and to explore how the sacred landscapes correlated with shifting relations of power and cultural influence in the area. This region encompasses what is today the mostly arid southern parts of Jordan and Israel, one of the most studied areas of the Near East and location of thousands of archaeological sites in pristine condition, and a key area for the history of Yahwism, Christianity and early Islam. The Desert Cults Mapping Project (DCMP) will address these questions through an explicit interdisciplinary approach at the intersection between digital humanities and archaeological research and with synergy from collaboration with international teams.


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Is any information on this page incorrect or outdated? Please notify Ms. Nel-Mari Loock at [email protected].