This website requires JavaScript.


History & Heritage


In Jordan, the discovery of a 9000 year old cult site

In the desert of Badia, a team of Franco-Jordanian archaeologists has unearthed a site dedicated to the practice of rituals dating from the Stone Age. It could be one of the oldest human structures in the world.

This discovery made within the Southeast Badia Archaeological Project (SEBAP) proved to be extraordinary. The Jordanian authorities stressed that it was “the oldest structure in the world built on a large scale known so far”. The site, which includes an altar and a miniature model of a game trap nicknamed “desert kite” would indeed have housed cultic rites of gazelle hunters in the Neolithic era.

Mass hunting, already known at that time

Gazelles were once driven by hunters into walls that served as corridors leading to an enclosure or pit, where they were then slaughtered. Similar structures, with walls sometimes several kilometers long, have been discovered in Saudi Arabia, Syria and Kazakhstan. The site at the heart of attention was certainly used to invoke supernatural forces for a successful hunt and abundant prey.


A sophisticated hunting strategy

The site has two stelae with human figures exceeding the height of 1 meter, as well as flints and statuettes representing animals. But above all, archaeologists have examined 150 marine fossils arranged in a way that owes nothing to chance. Thanks to its unpublished discovery and according to its communiqué, the SEBAP aims to deepen its knowledge of “the first pastoral and nomadic societies, as well as the evolution of hunting strategies”. The examination of the model of trap found on the site suggests extremely sophisticated hunting strategies. Surprising for such an ancient period!

À lire aussi

In Oman, a 4000 year old board game engraved on a stone

Publié le 24 February 2022