Nature and Geology in Faynan
Locations suitable for settlement are those areas where several natural phenomena overlap. Topography, climate, vegetation, availability of water, arable land, raw materials and building materials result in an environment that provides necessary preconditions for successful human survival. The combination of these elements in the ‘basic natural kit’ (Schröder and Yalçin 1991) have been so favorable in the settlement area of Faynan that the region has been almost continuously occupied from the Palaeolithic to modern times. The history of settlement in Faynan is not only a remarkable story of the utilization of an arid region, but also of the exploitation of its indigenous raw material (copper ores) and vegetation. Not surprisingly, all of this activity also affected and shaped the landscape. These processes of change are very interesting from a geoarchaeological standpoint, but they can only be touched upon here. They have been studied in detail in a research project undertaken by the CBRL (Centre of British Research in the Levant, former BIAAH) (Barker et al. 1997, 1998).
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