“Extended Geoarchaeological Survey of the Azraq Region”
Burton MacDonald and Rosemarie Sampson Fellowship, 2021–2022
University of Victoria, Victoria (Canada)
Caitlin Craig completed her BA in anthropology at the University of Victoria and will be starting her MA in archaeology at Simon Fraser University in 2021. She is broadly interested in hominin evolution, specifically the interactions between hominins and the environments in which they lived. Her past research experience includes experimentally applying heat treatment to ostrich eggshell beads, investigating how agricultural intensification in early Central European agricultural populations affected biomechanical indices of labor, and clarifying the geoarchaeological context of the earliest evidence of controlled fire use. She has done archaeology in Australia, Canada, and Kenya and will be participating in a geoarchaeological survey of the Azraq Basin in eastern Jordan.
The Extended Geoarchaeological Survey of the Azraq Region is investigating the “Azraq Corridor,” one of the routes along which humans might have dispersed from Africa into Eurasia. Running through the Wadi Sirhan depression, the Azraq Corridor is a paleohydrological corridor that contains a deep record of the region’s changing climate and hydrology as well as a network of archaeological sites characterized by large stone tool assemblages. In order to reconstruct the behaviors associated with hominin dispersals, it is necessary to identify mobility and stone-tool procurement strategies to better understand the organization of tool production and the planning and landscape familiarity of hominins in this region. Overall, this research contributes to a greater understanding of the nature of “Out of Africa” dispersals during the later stages of the Middle Pleistocene (300,000–150,000 years ago).