Cresswell AJ, Sanderson DCW, Kinnaird TC, Holdridge G, Lichtenberger A, Raja R & Simpson IA (2018) Luminescence dating of soils and sediments from Jerash, Jordan. Jerash Geoarchaeology.
The urban site of Jerash, Jordan is recognised as one of the great cities of the classical Middle East and has been the subject of ongoing systematic archaeological investigations since the 1920s. Its significance lies in its location on limestone geology in one of the more fertile areas of the Ajlun Highlands in northern Jordan with a good water supply, a number of springs and its central position in regional trade routes. The hinterland context of the city is yet to be considered and is a significant omission given the importance of water and its management together with the agricultural systems dependent on water in supporting urban development. Landscape chronologies are vital to the establishment of city and hinterland relationships and in this working papers we assess the value and significance of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) measurement in this endeavour. Our findings so far suggest a measurement cluster range of ca. 480 BC – 250 BC in landscapes underlying the city and a dominant trend of sediments infilling the adjacent Wadi Suf between 640 ± 240 AD and 1400 ± 60 AD reflecting land management changes in a soil environment sensitive to degradation.