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The Early Bronze Age I Tombs and Burials of Bâb Edh-Dhrâ', Jordan (Reports of the Expedition to the Dead Sea Plain, Jordan) (Pt. 1) [Hardcover]

Donald J. Ortner , Bruno Frohlich , Gillian R. Bentley , Alain Froment , Evan Garofalo , Liese Meier , Victoria J. Perry , R Thomas Schaub

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Book Description

March 31, 2008 0759110751 978-0759110755
This work is the result of decades of research on the Early Bronze Age I skeletal material from the archaeological site of Bâb Edh-Dhrâ' in Jordan. Bâb Edh-Dhrâ' is home to one of the Near East's largest and most carefully documented collections of human skeletal material, which is one of the few sources of information about the inhabitants of this pre-biblical world in the late-fourth and third millennia B.C. This definitive study by physical anthropologists will be consulted for decades by archaeologists and anthropologists working in the Levant, Egypt and Mesopotamia, as well as anyone studying ancient Near Eastern migration patterns, skeletal changes, and incidences of diseases.

Editorial Reviews


Ortner, Frohlich, and colleagues provide an excellent, comprehensive model that should be widely emulated for the analysis, interpretation, and presentation of complex mortuary data sets. The text is rich in relevant details and abundantly illustrated with photographs and figures--all of which enhance the authors' dynamic reconstruction of life and death in Early Bronze Age Jordan. Ortner's active participation in the excavation of the burials at this remarkable site ensured that every bit of human bone has been systematically collected; and his paleopathological analysis not only incorporates biological and cultural data for differential diagnosis, but also takes note of the individual human costs of illnesses and nutritional deficiencies. Those who wonder what ancient remains can tell us about human life will find some convincing answers here. (Mary Lucas Powell)

Ortner and Frohlich’s ambitious and detailed study of the skeletal remains from Bab edh-Dhra', Jordan, provides crucial insights into the lives of the people who settled in one of the earliest walled communities in this region. Ultimately their research offers a fascinating examination of the rise of small-scale urbanism in the Near East, thus contributing to the broader anthropological exploration of the development of social complexity and state formation, and of the rise and collapse of ancient urban societies. (Meredith S. Chesson)

Donald Ortner and Bruno Frohlich provide a model and set a new standard for ancient Near Eastern bioarchaeological or osteoarchaeological research and publication with this volume on the shaft tombs and Charner House burials excavated in 1977, 1979, and 1981 from Jordan....This volume benefits osteological and dental specialists as well as those who study history and culture. (Journal Of The American Oriental Society)

In this important work on the prehistory of the ancient Near East, the authors recognize that tombs are built for people, not pots. They employ bioarchaeological methods that allow them to compare the skeletal remains found at Bâb edh-Dhrâ? with other collections worldwide. This book provides a view of ancient life during an important period of transition in the southern Levant. (Susan Guise Sheridan)

About the Author

Donald J. Ortner is a curator and research anthropologist at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. Bruno Frohlich is an anthropologist at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

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