This dissertation creates models of past potential vegetation in the Southern Levant during most of the Holocene, from the beginnings of farming through the rise of urbanized civilization (12 to 2.5 ka BP). The time scale encompasses the rise and collapse of the earliest agrarian civilizations in this region. The archaeological record suggests that increases in social complexity were linked to climatic episodes (e.g., favorable climatic conditions coincide with intervals of prosperity or marked social development such as the Neolithic Revolution ca. 11.5 ka BP, the Secondary Products Revolution ca. 6 ka BP, and the Middle Bronze Age ca. 4 ka BP). The opposite can be said about periods of climatic deterioration, when settled villages were abandoned as the inhabitants returned to nomadic or semi nomadic lifestyles (e.g., abandonment of the largest Neolithic farming towns after 8 ka BP and collapse of Bronze Age towns and cities after 3.5 ka BP during the Late Bronze Age). This study develops chronologically refined models of past vegetation from 12 to 2.5 ka BP, at 500 year intervals, using GIS, remote sensing and statistical modeling tools (MAXENT) that derive from species distribution modeling. Plants are sensitive to alterations in their environment and respond accordingly. Because of this, they are valuable indicators of landscape change. An extensive database of historical and field gathered observations was created. Using this database as well as environmental variables that include temperature and precipitation surfaces for the whole study period (also at 500 year intervals), the potential vegetation of the region was modeled. Through this means, a continuous chronology of potential vegetation of the Southern Levantwas built. The produced paleo-vegetation models generally agree with the proxy records. They indicate a gradual decline of forests and expansion of steppe and desert throughout the Holocene, interrupted briefly during the Mid Holocene (ca. 4 ka BP, Middle Bronze Age). They also suggest that during the Early Holocene, forest areas were extensive, spreading into the Northern Negev. The two remaining forested areas in the Northern and Southern Plateau Region in Jordan were also connected during this time. The models also show general agreement with the major cultural developments, with forested areas either expanding or remaining stable during prosperous periods (e.g., Pre Pottery Neolithic and Middle Bronze Age), and significantly contracting during moments of instability (e.g., Late Bronze Age).