Archaeology Odyssey 3:3, May/June 2000

The Yarwhosians?

You may not have heard of them, but the civilized Neolithic Yarmukians created some of the world’s earliest clay sculptures.

By Yosef GarfinkelMichele Miller

Prepare to fall in love—with our friends the Yarmukians. Since they lived almost 8,000 years ago, about 3,000 years before people began communicating in writing, you can’t ask them who they were. And even if you could, it’s doubtful you would understand their answer; we don’t even know what language they spoke. But we don’t need to speak to the Yarmukians to know something about their intricate and interesting lives. We only have to look at the material they left behind—the buildings they lived and worked in, the tools they used to produce and cook their food, the objects they traded with others, and the items they used to adorn themselves and their homes. We also have objects that today we’d call “art”; expressions of their humanity and perhaps even of the belief in something beyond the human.

Join the BAS Library!

Already a library member? Log in here.

Institution user? Log in with your IP address.