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Bill Finlayson talking about the Neolithic site of Ba’ja

Ba’ja is located up a very narrow gorge and is a late PPNB site at about eight and a half thousand years old. But it’s a spectacular site, in terms of scenery certainly – because it’s up a narrow gorge. The architecture is enormous, some of it is terraced up the steep slope, and some of it is true two-storey architecture.

It’s not a single phase site at all, it’s quite complicated with regards to the architecture. What seems to happen here, is that over time, as the site develops upwards, they first of start subpartitioning the basements, using them probably for storage, and then they fill those in and the next floor starts to be subpartitioned for a basement and you have an upward progression combined with the sloping back, tiered up against the hillside.

There are a number of pits and things dug into the bottom, which are stone-lined. There is a lot going on here and one of the areas of the site revealed a little bit of painting on the walls so you can imagine most of this was probably plastered and painted back in the PPNB.

Location of Ba’ja

Ba’ja is located up a steep gorge and has enormous architecture

Subpartitioning of the basement probably for storage