Much of the archaeological landscape of the ancient Near East is rapidly disappearing. This is especially true for pre and protohistoric sites that lack the imposing size of tells. Features such as dolmens, aboveground stone tombs, are being especially hard hit and are under constant threat from stone quarries and modern farming.
Jebel al-Mutawwaq is an Early Bronze Age (EB) I site, dating to the second half of the 4th millennium BCE), located along the Middle Wadi az-Zarqa valley, approximately 10 kilometers south of Jerash. The site is comprised of a huge dolmen field (with originally more than one thousand preserved) and a 13 hectare village delimited by a wall. The settlement is located along the southern cliff of the valley, while the dolmen field is located all around the mountain. The site was first surveyed in the 1980s and then excavated from 1989 to 2011 by J.A. Fernandez Tresguerres-Velasco. A new Spanish-Italian archaeological project, co-directed between the Perugia University and the Pontificia Facultad San Esteban of Salamanca, started in 2012.
The Early Bronze Age I settlement
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