Dating Neolithic rubble layers from Ba'ja and Basta sites in southern Jordan using luminescence

Sahar al Khasawneh*, Andrew Murray, Warren Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


There is considerable evidence of widespread damage in the 7th millennium habitation sites across Jordan. The origins of this damage are unknown, but the most widely accepted hypothesis associates the resulting rubble and gravel deposits with the Holocene Rapid Climate Change. One way of testing the various hypotheses is to provide a more reliable chronology for the event(s) in question. In this study, we used quartz OSL and feldspar IRSL signals to date accumulative rubble layers at two archaeological sites in Southern Jordan; Ba'ja and Basta. By comparison with the OSL ages, the IRSL ages demonstrate that most of the quartz samples were sufficiently well bleached at deposition to provide accurate ages. Quartz ages show that deposition of the rubble layers took place in different episodes starting around 8.5 ka and 6.0 ka. Ages from Ba'ja site agree with the archaeological expectations of time of deposition. However, the results from Basta are younger than the archaeological expectations, which are based mainly on architectural style and stratigraphy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101291
JournalQuaternary Geochronology
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Neolithic
  • Jordan
  • Rubble layers
  • Yarmoukian landslide
  • Ba’ja
  • Basta
  • OSL


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