Department of Anthropology

Steve Rosen: Shelter from the Storm

Mon, October 8, 2012 | SAC 5.118

12:00 PM

Steve Rosen: Shelter from the Storm

“Shelter from the Storm: Preliminary Conclusions on Desert Pastoralism from the Analysis of Rock Shelters and Dung Layers in the Negev”

A talk by Dr. Steve Rosen, Deputy Rector, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Analyses of sediments from rock shelters in the Negev, composed primarily of layers of dung deposited by domestic goats, offer both new data and new conclusions concerning the nature of desert pastoralism over the millennia. Stratigraphic analysis based on standard archaeological observation with radiocarbon assays indicates the episodic nature of rock shelter exploitation, with periods of intense use and long periods of abandonment. Micromorphological analyses offer insights into seasonality and post-depositional processes. Palynology offers paleoenvironmental reconstruction which can be tied directly to periods of human exploitation. Chemical analysis of the dung reflects both diet and seasonality. The overall picture offers a long-term view of pastoralism which can be linked to the archaeology of campsites.

Steve Rosen is currently serving a sentence as deputy rector of Ben-Gurion University. He completed his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, and his advanced degrees in anthropology at the University of Chicago. He worked for eight years as a survey archaeologist for the Negev Emergency Survey of Israel before joining the faculty of Ben-Gurion University, where he is now the Canada Chair in Near Eastern Archaeology. He is the editor of the Journal of the Israel Prehistoric Society and serves on the Archaeological Council of Israel and the board of the Israel Prehistoric Society. His most recent book, An Investigation into Early Desert Pastoralism: Excavations at the Camel Site, Negev, was published in 2011 by the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA.

This talk is part of the UT Department of Anthropology 2012-2013 Speaker Series. For more information, please contact Dr. Cecilia Ballí.

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