Open season: modelling prehistoric wildlife dynamics in Epipalaeolithic and Neolithic Jordan

Joe Roe and Louise Martin

Paper presented at the British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology (BANEA) annual conference, London, 2015.


Prehistoric hunter-foragers thrived in the rich, gazelle-dominated hunting grounds of the eastern Jordanian steppe. The rhythm of this existence was undoubtedly defined by seasonal variation in the distribution, density and mobility of prey; thus differing hypotheses of wildlife dynamics have strongly influenced interpretations of the regional archaeological record. We present a new, GIS-based approach to modelling animal behaviour to predict seasonal dynamics under different palaeoenvironmental regimes, and discuss implications of the model for reconstructing human hunting strategies and interpretations of the available archaeological and zooarchaeological data.