Crossing the Rift:
The Wadi Arabah, part of the Great Rift Valley, forms the modern political border between Jordan and Israel from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea. This volume, the first ever to focus on the archaeology and history of the entire wadi in all periods from Palaeolithic to the present day, originated in a conference held in Atlanta in November 2003.
The 21 papers, by specialists on the Wadi Arabah from all over the world, provide a comprehensive coverage of the Wadi Arabah as a political and phenomenological landscape, its environment, resources and geology, methodological issues and settlement patterns of all periods, the Wadi Arabah in the Hebrew scriptures, and ethnographic evidence of recent bedouin use.
As a major geological feature dividing ecological zones with different rainfall, water and soil resources, to east and west, the Wadi Arabah has often been perceived as a natural topographic and traditional cultural barrier and border. But these studies demonstrate that it was never a physical barrier, indeed it seems to have been crossed in all periods, and only in modern times has it become a fixed political border. Although at times a convenient demarcation and boundary, it was also a zone of contact and interaction. The only real barrier to crossing the Wadi Arabah were the social relations between people on either side, and their knowledge and understanding of each other and each otther's motives, and that is as true today as it was in antiquity.
in memory of
Piotr Bienkowski and Katharina Galor: Introduction
Piotr Bienkowski: The Wadi Arabah: Meanings in a Contested Landscape
Hendrik J. Bruins: Desert Environment and Geoarchaeology of the Wadi Arabah
Moti Haiman: The Archaeological Surveys in the Arabah Reconsidered: Data and Metadata
Uzi Avner: Settlement Patterns in the Wadi Arabah and the Adjacent Desert Areas: A View from the Eilat Region
Burton MacDonald: The Southern Ghors and North-east Arabah: Resources, Sites and Routes
Donald O. Henry: Cultural and Geological Influences on Prehistoric Site Distributions in the Wadi Arabah
Yuval Yekutieli: Aspects of an Early Bronze Age II-III Polity in the Dead Sea Region
Andreas Hauptmann: Mining Archaeology and Archaeometallurgy in the Wadi Arabah: The Mining Districts of Faynan and Timna
Russell Adams: Copper Trading Networks Across the Arabah During the Later Early Bronze Age
Michaël Jasmin: The Emergence and First Development of the Arabian Trade Across the Wadi Arabah
John R. Bartlett: The Wadi Arabah in the Hebrew Scriptures
Tali Erickson-Gini: ‘Down to the Sea’: Nabataean Colonization in the Negev Highlands
Yizhar Hirschfeld: The Nabataean Presence South of the Dead Sea: New Evidence
Orit Shamir: Textiles, Basketry, Cordage and Fruits from Ein Tamar: Preliminary Report
Benjamin J. Dolinka: The Rujm Taba Archaeological Project (RTAP): Results of the 2001 Survey and Reconnaisance
Benjamin Isaac: Roman Organization in the Arabah in the Fourth Century AD
S. Thomas Parker: Roman Aila and the Wadi Arabah: An Economic Relationship
Ze’ev Meshel: Were There Gold Mines in the Eastern Arabah?
Donald Whitcomb: The Wadi Arabah During the Early Islamic Period
Eveline van der Steen: Nineteenth-century Travellers in the Wadi Arabah
Clinton Bailey: Relations between Bedouin Tribes on Opposite Sides of the Wadi Arabah, 1600-1950
for further reading:
(publications focusing exclusively on Petra are omitted from this list)
Surveys and general publications
Bruins, H.J. 2006. Desert Environment and Geoarchaeology of the Wadi Arabah. pp 29-43 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Haiman, M. 2006. The archaeological surveys in the Arabah reconsidered: data and metadata. pp 46-49 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
MacDonald, B. 2006. The southern Ghors and north-east Arabah: resources, sites and routes. pp 75-90 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
MacDonald, B.; Herr, L. G.; Neeley, M. P.; Gagos, T.; Moumani, K.; and Rockman, M. 2004. The Tafila-Busayra Archaeological Survey 1999-2001, West-Central Jordan. Archaeological reports 9. Boston: American Schools of Oriental Research.
MacDonald, B. 1992. The southern Ghors and northeast ‘Arabah archaeological survey. Sheffield, J.R. Collis Publications.
Rothenberg, B. 1990. The Ancient Metallurgy of Copper. London: the Institute for Archaeo-Metallurgical Studies.
Hart S. and K. Falkner 1985. Preliminary report on a survey in Edom, 1984. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 29:255-277
Raikes T.D. 1980. Notes on some Neolithic and later sites in Wadi Arabah and the Dead Sea Valley. Levant 12:40-60
Rothenberg B. 1970. An archaeological survey of South Sinai. Palestine Exploration Quarterly 102:4-29
Glueck, N. 1935. Explorations in Eastern Palestine II. Annual of the American School for Oriental Research 15
Fritz Frank 1934. ‘Aus der Araba I: Reiseberichte’, Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palaestina Vereins 57, pp. 191-280
Henry, D.O. 2006. Cultural and geological influences on prehistoric site distributions in the Wadi Arabah. pp 91-101 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Henry, D.O., H. Hietala, A.M. Rosen, Y.E. Demidenko, V.I. Usik and T.L. Armagan 2004. Human behavioral organziation in the Middle Paleolithic: were Neanderthals different? American Anthropologist 106:17-31
Henry, D.O., ed. 2003. Neanderthals in the Levant:
Behavioral Organization and the Beginnings of Human Modernity. London,
MacDonald, B. 1992. The southern Ghors and northeast
‘Arabah archaeological survey. Sheffield, J.R. Collis Publications.
Avner, U. 2006. Settlement patterns in the Wadi Arabah and the adjacent desert areas: a view from the Eilat region. pp 52-74 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Avner, U. and I. Carmi. 2001. Settlement Patterns in the Southern Levant Deserts During the 6th-3rd Millennia B.C.: A Revision Based on 14C Dating. In H.J. Bruins, I. Carmi and E. Boaretto (eds.), Near East Chronology: Archaeology and Environment. Proceedings of the 17th International 14C Conference. Radiocarbon 43:1203-1216. Tucson.
Avner, U. 1998. Settlement, Agriculture and Paleoclimate in ‘Uvda Valley, Southern Negev Desert, 6th - 3rd Millennia B.C. In. A. Issar and N. Brown (eds.), Water, Environment and Society in Times of Climate Change. Pp. 147-202.
Henry, D.O. 1995. Prehistoric Cultural Ecology and Evolution, Insights from Southern Jordan. New York.
Beit Arieh, I. and Gophna, R. 1977. A Note on a Chalcolithic Site in
Wadi Araba. Tel-Aviv 4: 105-109.
Yekutieli, Y. 2006. Aspects of an Early Bronze Age II-III polity in the Dead Sea region. pp 103-124 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Hauptmann, A. 2006. Mining archaeology and archaeometallurgy in the Wadi Arabah; the mining districts of Fayan and Timna. pp 125-133 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Adams, R. 2006. Copper trading networks across the Arabah during the later Early Bronze Age. pp 135-142 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Levy, T.E., R.B. Adams, A., Hauptmann, M. Prange, S. Schmitt-Strecker and M. Najjar. 2002. Early Copper Age Metallurgy: A Newly Discovered Copper Manufactory in Southern Jordan. Antiquity 76:425-437.
Brückner, H. et al. 2002. Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Sites near Aqaba, Jordan. Pp. 217-331 in Ausgrabungen und Surveys im vorderen Orient I, ed. R. Eichmann. Orient-Archäologie 5.
Adams, R.B. 2000. The Early Bronze Age III-IV Transition in southern Jordan: Evidence from Khirbet Hamra Ifdan. Pp. 379-401 in Ceramics and Change in the Early Bronze Age of the Southern Levant, eds. G. Philip, and D. Baird. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.
Hauptmann, A. 2000. Zur frühen Metallurgie des Kupfers in Fenan/Jordanien. Bochum: Dt. Bergbau-Museum.
Goren, Y. 1996. The Southern Levant in the Early Bronze Age IV: The Petrographic Perspective. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 303: 33-72.
Haiman, M. 1996. Early Bronze Age IV Settlement Pattern of the Negev and Sinai Deserts: View from Small Marginal Temporary Sites. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 303: 1-32.
Finkelstein, I. 1995. Living on the Fringe. Sheffield.
Khalil, L. 1995. The Second Season of Excavation at al-Magass-Aqaba, 1990. ADAJ 39:65-79.
Fritz, V. 1994. Vorbericht über die Grabungen in Barqa el-Hetiye im Gebiet von Fenan, Wadi el Araba (Jordanien) 1990. Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins 110: 125-150.
Sebbane, M., Ilan, O., Avner, U. and Ilan, D. 1993. The Dating of Early
bronze Age Settlements in the Negev and Sinai. Tel Aviv 20: 41-54.
Rothenberg, B. and J. Glass. 1992. The Beginnings and the Development of Early Metalurgy and the Settlement and Chronology of the Western Arabah, from the Chalcolithic Period to Early Bronze Age IV. Levant 24:141-157.
Khalil, L. 1987. Preliminary Report on the 1985 Season of Excavation
at el-Magass-Aqaba. ADAJ 31:481-483.
Rothenberg 1988.The Egyptian Mining temple at Timna. Institute
for Archaeo-Metallurgical Studies, Institute for Archaeology, University
Jasmin, M. 2006. The emergence and first development of the Arabian trade across the Wadi Arabah. pp143-150 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Bartlett. J. 2006. The Wadi Arabah in the Hebrew scriptures. pp 151-156 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Finkelstein I. 2005. Khirbet en-Nahas, Edom and Biblical History. Tel Aviv 32:119-125.
Bienkowski P. 2003. Iron Age Settlement in Edom: A Revised
Framework. In The World of the Aramaeans: Biblical, Historical and
Cultural Studies in Honour of Paul-E. Dion, eds. P. M. M. Daviau
and M. Weigl. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic.
Levy, T. E.; Adams, R.B.; and Shafiq, R. 1999. The
Jabal Hamrat Fidan Project: Excavations at the Wadi Fidan 40 Cemetery,
Jordan (1997). Levant 31: 293-308 .
Finkelstein I. 1995. Living on the Fringe: The Archaeology and History of the Negev, Sinai and Neighbouring Regions in the Bronze and Iron Ages. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press
Cohen R. and Yisrael Y. 1995. The Iron Age fortress at En Haseva. Biblical Archaeologist 58-1:323-335
Bienkowski P. 2003. Busayra. Excavations by Crystal-M. Bennett 1971-1980. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Bienkowski P. 2001. The Persian Period. Pp. 347-65 in The Archaeology of Jordan, eds. B. MacDonald, R. Adams and P. Bienkowski., Sheffield
Stern E. 2001. Archaeology of the land of the Bible ; Vol. II: The Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian periods : 732-332 BCE. Doubleday 2001
Bennett, C-M. and P. Bienkowski 1995. Excavations at Tawilan in Southern Jordan. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bienkowski, P. 1990. The Chronology of Tawilan and the ‘Dark Age’ of Edom. Aram 2 (1&2): 35-44.
Bartlett, J.R. 1989. Edom and the Edomites. Sheffield: JSOT Press.
Bennett, C-M. 1977. Excavations at Buseirah, Southern Jordan, 1974: Fourth Preliminary Report. Levant 9: 1-10.
(publications focusing exclusively on Petra are not listed here)
Erickson-Gini, T. 2006. 'Down to the Sea': Nabataean colonization in the Negev Highlands. pp 157-166 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Hirschfeld, Y. 2006. The Nabataean presence south of the Dead Sea: new evidence. pp 167-190 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Shamir, O. 2006. Textiles, basketry, cordage and fruits from 'En Tamar: preliminary report. pp 191-194 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Dolinka, B. 2006. The Rujm Taba Archaeological Project (RTAP): results of the 2001 survey and reconnaissance. pp 195-214 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Isaac, B. 2006. Roman organization in the Arabah in the fourth century AD. pp 215-221 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Parker, S.T. 2006. Roman Aila and the Wadi Arabah: an economic relationship. pp 223-230 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Meshel, Z. 2006. Were there gold mines in the eastern Arabah? pp 231-238 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Rosenthal-Heginbottom, R ed., 2003. The Nabateans in the Negev. Reuben and Edith Hecht Museum, University of Haifa.
Dolinka, B.J. 2002. The Rujm Taba Archaeological Project (RTAP): Preliminary Report on the 2001 Field Season. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 46: 429-50.
R. Cohen, 1982a. New Light on the Date of the Petra-Gaza Road. Biblical Archaeologist 45: 240-47.
Whitcomb D. 2006. Land behind Aqaba: the Wadi Arabah during the Early Islamic period. pp 239-242 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Steen, E.J. van der. 2006. Nineteenth-centur travellers in the Wadi Arabah. pp243-250 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Bailey, C. 2006. Relations between bedouin tribes on opposite sides of the Wadi Arabah, 1600-1950. pp 251-258 in Crossing the Rift. eds. P. Bienkowski and K. Galor.
Bailey, C. 2004. A Culture of Desert Survival: Bedouin Proverbs from Sinai and the Negev. Yale University Press (review)
Bailey, C. 1985 “Dating the Arrival of the Bedouin Tribes in Sinai and the Negev,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 28/1 (1985).
Burckhardt, John Lewis, Travels in Syria and the Holy Land, London, 1822.
Musil, Alois, Arabia Petraea, vol. II, Wien, 1908