Rosen offers the first archaeological analysis of the rise of herding in the desert, from the first introduction of domestic goats and sheep into the arid zones, more than eight millennia ago, to the evolution of more recent Bedouin societies. The adoption of domestic herds by hunter-gatherer societies, contemporary with and peripheral to the first farming settlements, revolutionized all aspects of desert life, including subsistence, trade, cult, social organization, and ecology. Inviting processual comparison to the agricultural revolution and the secondary spread of domestication beyond the Near East, this volume traces the evolution of nomadic societies in the archaeological record and examines their ecological, economic and social adaptations to the deserts of the Southern Levant. With maps and illustrations from the author’s own collection, Revolutions in the Desert is a thoughtful and engaging approach to the archaeology of desert nomadic societies.
For experienced scholars or enthusiastic newcomers, it is an enlightening portrayal of the people and the land of Canaan and Israel, which traces many well-known spiritual and cultural traditions back to their ancient roots. It is also an objective introduction to a number of much-debated topics, such as the fate of the Canaanite cultures, the origins of the Israelites, and the historical accuracy of the Bible.