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This website contains the excavation reports of the fieldwork and research projects carried out at 'Ain Ghazal, a Neolithic settlement located near Amman, Jordan. The settlement has yielded several artefacts suggesting a particular importance of symbolism within that ancient community and the reports mostly focus on this aspect. The reports are organised in chapters and present an overview of the site and symbolic items such as tokens of many shapes, animal and human figurines, modelled human skulls, "monumental" statues and motifs painted on walls and floors of buildings. This website also includes catalogues of human figurines and statues as well as a few papers exploring the significance of the recognised symbols. The reports are illustrated with colour pictures, graphics, drawings and plans and include bibliographies. The publication of a few more reports has been announced. 'Ain Ghazal was first settled during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (about 7250 BC) and thereafter expanded to include 30 acres of land. It was abandoned during the Yarmoukian Pottery Neolithic (about 5000 BC). A paper concentrates on a single stone statuette with flat breasts and no genitalia, which has been found in what has been interpreted as an open sanctuary. The figure is possibly connected to a fertility cult, interpreted as a reaction to increasing problems in farming. This and other reports within this website suggest that the changing environment had a paramount effect in the life on the settlement, a theme which is perhaps overemphasised.

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Type: Papers/reports/articles/texts; Arts Projects; Research centres and projects; Research related resources Format: HTML
Eight examples of the oldest human-form statues ever found in the Near East were on display from 28 July 1996 to 6 April 1997 at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC in an exhibition entitled 'Preserving ancient statues from Jordan'. This website provides information about the discovery, construction, conservation and display of the statues found at the Neolithic site of 'Ain Ghazal and explores them as works of art and ritual objects. The site also includes a short bibliography.

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Type: Events; Papers/reports/articles/texts; Images Format: HTML

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