Kharaneh IV Research

The Kharaneh IV project explores the nature of interaction and aggregation in the Azraq Basin at the end of the Pleistocene. Kharaneh IV is a multi-component Epipalaeolithic site located in the Eastern Desert of Jordan, approximately 70 km east of Jordan’s capital Amman at the western edge of the Azraq Basin. It is an exceptionally large Epipalaeolithic site, approximately 21 000 m2 in size, making it one of the largest Terminal Pleistocene occupations in the Levant. The high density of artifacts, repeated occupation, and the presence of multiple habitation structures suggests that several small groups were aggregating at Kharaneh IV. Excavations at Kharaneh IV explore evidence of this aggregation and social interaction in hunter-gatherer communities prior to the origins of agriculture.

Current research on the lithic assemblage of Kharaneh IV includes technological and microwear analysis of the lithic assemblage from several habitation structures to understand the use of domestic space.

Excavations at Kharaneh IV are ongoing and inquiries about conducting research on the assemblage, especially for Masters or PhD projects, are welcome. Please contact Dr. Danielle Macdonald for further information on the Kharaneh IV project:


Professor Emeritus of Anthropology Donald O. Henry is directing two research projects based largely on lithic assemblages held in the collection.

One deals with a comparative study of the production economies of lithic technologies associated with industries of Modes I-V. In this, edge production efficiency is measured by an Edge Production Index (i.e., useable edge by weight of an artifact) for various lithic classes and an Overall Edge Production Index which is calculated by the total edge generated by the total weight of the raw material consumed in a reduction cycle.

The second project relates to assessing the degree to which heat-treating may have been employed in altering the physical/ chemical features of lithic artifacts recovered from the living floors of the Late Levantine Mousterian site of Tor Faraj (J430). The research involves a comparative study of the chert varieties exploited at the site before and after experimental heat-treating and employs several analyses that provide for quantitative assessments of any changes generated by heat-treatment of the cherts.