The Western Highlands Epipaleolithic Project (WHEEP), was a long-term collaborative and interdisciplinary project directed by Deborah Olszewski at the University of Pennsylvania and Maysoon al-Nahar at Hashemite University of Jordan that examined human behavior and adaptations in the areas east of the Jordan valley in southern Levant. Currently, much of what we know about the impact of Late Pleistocene hunter-gatherer adaptations during the Younger Dryas on the timing and the tempo of the transition to agriculture in Southwest Asia comes from scholarship in the Levant, particularly on the Natufian Epipaleolithic in the western and coastal parts of southern Levant. The goal of WHEEP was to investigate how different ecological settings in the eastern parts of southern Levant shaped human adaptations and to compare them with adaptations in the western parts of the region as they related to the transition to agriculture.

Other Team Members

Deborah Olszewski – University of Pennsylvania (co-director)
Maysoon al-Nahar – University of Jordan (co-director)
Jacqueline Meier – Trent University (zooarchaeology)
Monica Ramsey – Cambridge University (microbotany)
Natalie Munro – University of Connecticut (zooarchaeology)

Select Publications

Munro, N.D., Kennerty, M., Meier, J.S., Samei, S., al-Nahar, M., Olszewski, D.I., 2016. Human hunting and site occupation intensity in the Early Epipaleolithic of the Jordanian Western Highlands. Quaternary International 396, 31–39.

Olszewski, D.I., al-Nahar, M., 2016. Late Pleistocene eastern Levant: landscape strategies in open spaces. Quaternary International 396, 1–4.

Olszewski, D.I., al-Nahar, M., 2016. Persistent and ephemeral places in the Early Epipaleolithic in the Wadi al-Hasa region of the Western Highlands of Jordan. Quaternary International 396, 20–30.

Ramsey, M.N., Rosen, A.M., 2016. Wedded to wetlands: exploring Late Pleistocene plant-use in the eastern Levant. Quaternary International 396, 5–19.

al-Nahar, M., Olszewski, D.I., 2016. Early Epipaleolithic lithics, time-averaging, and site interpretations: Wadi al-Hasa region, Western Highlands of Jordan. Quaternary International 396, 40–51.

Samei, S., Munro, N.D., al-Nahar, M., Olszewski, D.I., 2016. Differential bone preservation and human foraging at the Early Epipaleolithic site of Tor at-Tareeq (WHS1065) in the Western Highlands of Jordan. Quaternary International 396, 52–61.