THE EARLY OCCUPATION AT TELL ABU HUREYRA IN THE CONTEXT OF THE LATE EPIPALEOLITHIC OF THE LEVANT (NEAR EAST, CHIPPED STONE, NORTH SYRIA).
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractAn understanding of the interrelationships between Levantine late Epipaleolithic chipped stone assemblages is essential for an understanding of the cultural developments responsible for early plant and animal domestication. The analysis of the differences and similarities in technological and typological attributes of chipped stone assemblages, in conjunction with site locale, material remains other than chipped stone, and reconstructions of prehistoric environmental and climatic conditions, leads to an increased awareness of the kinds of activities practiced by prehistoric groups in different areas of the Levant at that time. Until recently, a majority of the research on the Levantine late Epipaleolithic was confined to the Palestinian area, and to the Natufian complex that characterizes that region of the Levant. The analyses presented here are concerned with the description and interpretation of a late Epipaleolithic chipped stone assemblage from the northern Levant at Tell Abu Hureyra on the Euphrates River, and the ways in which this assemblage compares and contrasts with those from the Natufian area. This research provides new and important information about prehistoric activities in an area outside of the traditional Natufian core region of Palestine. A complete typological description of the Tell Abu Hureyra chipped stone assemblage is presented. This information is used to compare these materials with the assemblages from other north Syrian sites (Tell Mureybat, Dibsi Faraj East, Nahr el-Homr, el-Kowm, and Aarida 7). Using general tool classes, such as scrapers, burins, and notch/denticulates, the north Syrian assemblages are then compared, by means of distance coefficients, cluster analysis, and principal components analysis, with Natufian assemblages. The lunate, a geometric microlith, is examined in particular. The chronological value of lunate attributes established by certain authors is assessed for lunates from Natufian assemblages and from the Tell Abu Hureyra assemblage. The information derived from these analyses is assessed in conjunction with environmental data, and specific site character (such as open terrace or cave/shelter) to construct a general interpretation of the significance of the variability in the late Epipaleolithic assemblages of the Levant.