When most people think of Bedouins, they think of goat herders. But the nomads of south Jordan are neither traditional hunter/gatherers nor a completely agrarian society.
They're somewhere in between, said Kenneth Russell, director of the Weber State College archeological technician program. He, Steven R. Simms, formerly of Weber State, and three WSC students spent the past summer living with a Bedouin family.They found evidence that Bedouins have lived continually in the area for centuries, surviving invasions of Romans, Arabs, and World War I tanks.
"The people have been settled somewhat in recent years, but in many ways they are still the same," Russell said.
Bedouins farm small plots of wheat and barley, moving to different agricultural or pasture locations depending on the weather. At harvest time the family gathers food and hides it in remote storage structures, often some distance from where the family lives, he said.
"While the locations of these structures were often known by non-family members, exact knowledge of which ones were in use at any one time was often restricted to the immediate family.