A. Chris Silvester

Department of Archaeology and History, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
acsilvester@students.latrobe.edu.au


Download full-text article


Dig It: The Journal of the Flinders Archaeological Society

Volume 3, May 2016

Print: ISSN 1440-2475
Online: ISSN 2203-1898


Abstract

The Pre-Pottery Neolithic Period (PPNB) of the Levant, from approximately 8600 BC to 7000 BC, is described as a transformative period of village life in terms of social, economic and ideological changes. This is examined across sites from the southern and central Levant, and south-east Anatolia. Social changes are seen in organisation of built space, population pressure and social hierarchy. Economic changes include animal domestication, building construction, craft specialisation and trade. Ideological and ritual changes include clay figurines, burials, skulls, statues and ritual sites. It is important to remain open to new interpretations of the archaeology as fresh evidence becomes available.


References

Bar-Yosef, O. 1981 The Epi-Palaeolithic complexes in the Southern Levant. In J. Cauvin and P. Sanlaville (eds), Préhistoire du Levant: Chronologie et Organisation de l’Espace Depuis les Origins Jusqu’au VIe Millénaire, pp. 389-408. Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.

Bar-Yosef, O. 1986 The walls of Jericho: An alternative interpretation. Current Anthropology 27(2):157-162.

Bar-Yosef Mayer, D.E. 1997 Neolithic shell bead production in Sinai. Journal of Archaeological Science 24:97-111.

Belfer-Cohen, A. and Hovers, E. 1992 In the eye of the beholder: Mousterian and Natufian burials in the Levant. Current Anthropology 3(4):463- 471.

Bonogofsky, M. 2005 Including women and children: Neolithic modeled skulls from Jordan, Israel, Syria and Turkey. Near Eastern Archaeology 67(2):118-119.

Boserup, E. 1965 The Conditions of Agricultural Growth: The Economics of Agrarian Change under Population Pressure. London: George Allen & Unwin Limited.

Byrd, B.F. 2000 Households in transition: Neolithic social organisation within southwest Asia. In I. Kuijt (ed.), Life in Neolithic Farming Communities: Social Organization, Identity and Differentiation, pp.63-98. New York: Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers.

Cauvin, J. 2000a The Birth of the Gods and the Origins of Agriculture. Trans. T. Watkins. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cauvin, J. 2000b The symbolic foundations of the Neolithic Revolution in the Near East. In I. Kuijt (ed.), Life in Neolithic Farming Communities: Social Organization, Identity and Differentiation, pp.235-251. New York: Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers.

Conolly, J., S. Colledge, K. Dobney, J.-D. Vigne, J. Peters, B. Stopp, K. Manning & S. Shennan 2011 Meta-analysis of zooarchaeological data from SW Asia and SE Europe provides insight into the origins and spread of animal husbandry. Journal of Archaeological Science 38:538-544.

Dixon, J.E., J.R. Cann, J.R. and C. Renfrew 1968 Obsidian and the origins of trade. In C.C. Lamberg-Karlovsky (ed.) [1972], Old World Archaeology: Foundations of Civilisation: Readings from Scientific American, pp.80-88. San Francisco: WH Freeman & Company.

Goren, Y., A.N. Goring-Morris and I. Segal 2001 The technology of skull modelling in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB): regional variability, the relation of technology and iconography and their archaeological implications. Journal of Archaeological Sciences 28:671-690.

Goring-Morris, A.N. and A. Belfer-Cohen 2002 Symbolic behaviour from the Epipalaeolithic and early Neolithic of the Near East: Preliminary observations on continuity and change. In H.G.K. Gebel, B.D. Hermansen & C.H. Jensen (eds), Magic Practices and Ritual in the Near Eastern Neolithic, pp.67-79. Berlin: Studies in Early Near Eastern Production, Subsistence and Environment 8.

Hermansen, B.D. 1997 Art and ritual behaviour in Neolithic Basta. In H.G.K. Gebel, Z. Kafafi and G.O. Rollefson (eds), The Prehistory of Jordan, II: Perspectives from 1997, pp.333-343. Berlin: Studies in Early Near Eastern Production, Subsistence and Environment 4.

Kenyon, K.M. 1954 Ancient Jericho. In C.C. Lamberg-Karlovsky (ed.) [1972], Old World Archaeology: Foundations of Civilisations: Readings from Scientific American, pp.89-94. San Francisco: WH Freeman & Company.

Kenyon, K.M. 1957 Digging Up Jericho. London: Ernest Benn Limited.

Kenyon, K.M. 1978 The Bible and Recent Archaeology. London: British Museum Publications.

Kuijt, I. and N. Goring-Morris 2002 Foraging, farming and social complexity in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of the southern Levant. Journal of World Prehistory 16(4):362-439.

Quintero, L.A. and P.J. Wilke 1995 Evolution and economic significance of naviform core-and-blade technology in the southern Levant. Paléorient 21(1):17-33.

Rollefson, G.O. 1983 Ritual and ceremony at Neolithic Ain Ghazal (Jordan). Paléorient 9(2):29-38.

Rollefson, G.O. 2000 Ritual and social structure at Neolithic ‘Ain Ghazal. In I. Kuijt (ed.), Life in Neolithic Farming Communities: Social Organization, Identity and Differentiation, pp.165-190. New York: Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers.

Rollefson, G.O. 2008 Charming lives: Human and animal figurines in the Late Epipaleolithic and Early Neolithic periods in the Greater Levant and Eastern Anatolia. In J.-P. Bocquet-Appel and O. Bar- Yosef (eds) The Neolithic Demographic Transition and its Consequences, pp.387-416, Rotterdam: Springer Netherlands.

Rollefson, G.O. and I. Köhler-Rollefson 1992 Early Neolithic exploitation patterns in the Levant: cultural impact on the environment. Population and environment 13(4):243-254.

Schirmer, W. 1990 Some aspects of building at the ‘aceramic-Neolithic’ settlement of Çayönü Tepesi. World Archaeology 21(3):363-387.

Schmidt, K. 2000 Göbekli Tepe, southeastern Turkey: A preliminary report on the 1995-1999 excavations. Paléorient 26(1):45-54.

Smith, P., O. Bar-Yosef and A. Sillen 1984 Archaeological and skeletal evidence for dietary change during the late Pleistocene/early Holocene in the Levant. In M.N. Chen & G.J. Armelagos (eds), Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture, pp.101-136. Orlando: Academic Press.

Verhoeven, M. 2002 Ritual and ideology in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B of the Levant and Southeast Anatolia. Cambridge Archaeology Journal 12(2):233-258.

Watkins, T. 2013 The Neolithic in transition – how to complete a paradigm shift. Levant 45(2):149-158.