7,000-year-old fibers in Jordan Valley

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7,000 years old fibers in Jordan Valley oldest known evidence of cotton in Near East.

Key Points- Earlier findings related to cotton

  • In archaeology, they have represented evidence of trade and culture.
  • In the ancient Near East (Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, ancient Iran, Anatolia, Armenia, the Levant, Cyprus, Arabian Peninsula), cotton was not grown natively
  • The earliest cotton products in the archaeological records were thought to have come from the Dhuweila site in Jordan about 6,400 years ago.
  • In the Indus Valley, the earliest cotton seeds have been dated to Mehrgarh in modern day Pakistan to 5000 BCE, or 7,000 years ago.

New findings

  • Cotton fibres found at Tel Tsaf are younger than the cotton strings found at Mehrgarh copper beads.
  • Cotton fibres and other bast fibers discovered are dyed with multiple colours that indicates complex social activities in the region.
  • Excavations unearthed has four architectural complexes where each consists of a closed courtyard with round or rectangular rooms and numerous rounded silos.
  • Burials were found within or adjacent to silos.
  • Common findings include- flints, pottery, animal bones, 150 clay sealings (bullae) and imported items like artifacts of basalt and obsidian, beads, sea shells, Nilotic shell and pottery items of Ubaid culture of north Syria

Tel Tsaf- Historical significance of site

  • Located near Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi, has provided a wealth of discoveries, including the earliest example of social beer drinking and ritual food storage.
  • It is a site with amazing preservation of organic materials
  • Tel Tsaf was sort of a hub that concentrated a lot of trade and contact with lots of people
  • They had large-scale [grain] storage capacity at the site, which was huge compared to other sites

Tel Tsaf

  • Tel Tsaf, a Middle Chalcolithic site, is located in the central Jordan Valley.
  • It has long been considered one of the most promising sites for studying the transition to complex societies in the Near East.
  • This large site is distinguished by its superb preservation of mudbrick architecture and organic materials, as well as by its burials, the earliest metal object in the southern Levant, and evidence for large-scale storage and long-distance trade.



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