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Is water the new oil?

January 3, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

It’s hard to imagine why humans would have chosen the achingly arid stone desert of Wadi Faynan — in present-day Jordan — for a settlement. But water would have been one important reason, says archaeologist Steven Mithen. When Neolithic men and women arrived 11,500 years ago, things were very different: the climate was cooler and wetter; the landscape was covered in vegetation, including wild figs, legumes and cereals; and there would have been wild goats and ibex for meat.

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