11,300-Year-Old Megastructure | WF16 and the Birth of Civilisation

Just when I thought I had presented all of the most incredible Pre-Pottery Neolithic sites of Western Asia, I stumble across another hidden gem, a 12,000-year-old site that was only discovered in 1996, and it’s amazing architecture is worthy to be mentioned alongside the likes of Gobekli Tepe, Karahan Tepe and Jericho.

The site is truly ancient, it’s Pre-Pottery Neolithic A, and is known as WF16, which actually stands for Wadi Faynan 16 – an extraordinary site in the Southern Levant, in Southern Jordan, the most southerly early Neolithic settlement I’ve covered on the Ancient Architects channel and it’s one you’ll want to remember.

The Pre-Pottery Neolithic A was a true transition phase in the human story, between the Epi-Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers and the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B farmers, a time when the worldview for many was changing, and you could argue that this time marked the true birth of civilisation.

Until the discovery of WF16, the PPNA sites of the Southern Levant were far less spectacular than those we find in the north. There was no southern equivalent to Gobekli Tepe or Mureybet, with most settlements appearing more like small hamlets or camps, as opposed to major population centres.

When WF16 was first discovered, it was thought to be just a seasonal camp, but with more excavation, that opinion would soon change. This was a large settlement with so many amazing archaeological finds, more than 30 structures and one special purpose megastructure, which makes this site so unique in the Southern Levant.

Watch this video to learn more about WF16, the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and the birth of civilisation.

Matt Sibson
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