Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Bert de Vries

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Sundick

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The purpose of this study is to identify trends in both burial practice and mortality patterning at the Late Antique site of Umm el-Jimal in northern Jordan, through a combined emphasis on mortuary contexts and human skeletal evidence. Data were analyzed and interpreted in three main areas involving: ( 1) the demographic evaluation of biological profiles comprised of sex, age and pathology estimations; (2) life table calculations for crude mortality rates, life expectancies, probability of death and number of individuals dying in time-successive age intervals; and (3) sex-, age- and status-specific patterns in demography and burial structure. These evaluations were conducted on remains excavated from three sections of the site. Areas AA and Z are regions of a single cemetery containing simple pit and cist burials dating to the early fourth century C.E.; area BB. l is a monumental mausoleum roughly contemporaneous with AA and Z.

Investigation of skeletal remains provided data concerning disease, nutrition, childhood stress, reproductive patterns and mortality. These results were compared with evidence from surrounding sites and were found to broadly correlate with available demographic data. Relatively small sample sizes render the majority of specific conclusions tentative, however, preliminary interpretations are valuable for indicating directions for future research and eventual intra-site comparisons.