A Reconsideration of Desert Kites: Communal Hunting and Rituals (76226)

Session Information:

Thursday, 23 November 2023 16:15
Session: Undergraduate Poster Session (AURS)
Room: Room 701
Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Desert Kites are visually stunning, large, prehistoric stone structures, with walls extending up to tens of kilometers in length. The kites were built with local stones by pastoral communities, dating to the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods (8,000-4,000 BCE), and thought to be used for mass hunting. Historically, desert kite structures identified in Jordan were concentrated in the north-eastern harra. The absence of kites within the south-east, given the continuity of settlements, was considered an anomaly. The southern kites were only recently identified, when the largest and oldest kites known were discovered within the hamada. In 2021, an excavation revealed a ritual installation, including an altar and hearth, attached to a desert kite, including two stelas of human figures, as well as etched scaled diagrams of other desert kites; offering the potential to expand our understanding of early levant pastoral nomadic groups. With 6,000 kites globally, the new Jordanian kites have not yet been contextualized in the global literature, nor have discussions previously included aspects of rituals and worship. My research will propose a new kite classification typology and reconsider the new kites and their associated hunting communities in terms of temporality, use, tradition, and rituals. My research relied on a survey of aerial, satellite and 3D-imagery, as well as a literature review. The poster will link shape and geographical distribution to early desert communities and consider the new kites as part of a larger, deeper system in the region, negotiating topography, climate and natural and animal resources.

Jawad Alazzeh, King's Academy, Jordan

About the Presenter(s)
Jawad Alazzeh is a student of archaeology, hailing from Jordan. Jawad has undertaken research on Desert Kites to investigate and classify these large man-made structures in light of new findings as it relates to typology and function.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00