Rice of the City-States

By about 3200 BC, Jordan had developed a relatively urban character. Many settlements were established during the Early Bronze Age (c. 3200-1950 BC) in various parts of Jordan, both in the Jordan Valley and on higher ground.

Many of the villages built during this time included defensive fortifications to protect the inhabitants from marauding nomadic tribes still inhabiting the region. Water was channeled from one place to another and precautions were even taken against earthquakes and floods.

Interesting changes took place in burial customs during this period. At Bab al-Dhra, a well-preserved site in Wadi Araba, archeologists have discovered over 20,000 shat tombs with multiple chambers. These tombs are thought to have contained the remains of 200,000 corpses. There also charnel houses of mud-brick containing human bones, pots, jewelry and weapons. The hundreds of dolmens scattered throughout the mountains of Jordan are dated to the late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze ages. It is possible that the dolmens are evidence of new peoples from the north bringing with them different burial traditions.

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