by Claire Rambeau,
University of Freiburg,
Wetlands are important archives of environmental change, especially in arid and semi-arid areas where sediment or proxy preservation is frequently low. This contribution explores the potential of a small wetland located on the northeastern edge of the Dead Sea, Jordan, in a region presently receiving less than 150 mm/year average rainfall, to record past climate and environmental change. This “desert wetland” probably developed due to the presence of tectonic fractures crossing a local aquifer and allowing its waters to reach the surface. It preserves sediments with various amounts of organic matter – products of in-situ vegetation decomposition – and allogenic (detrital input) / authigenic minerals, resulting in a sometimes complex geochemistry. The main points considered in this contribution are: what are the constraints and potential solutions to establish a reliable age-depth model using radiocarbon dating for such an archive; and how the combination of pollen, charcoal and geochemical data helps us unravel environmental changes for the past ca. 8’000 years in arid/semi-arid Southern Jordan, as well as their potential impact on societies.