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12,000-Year-Old Nafutian Female Shaman's Grave Loaded With 'Goodies"

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Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2009, 09:27:05 am »








Unearthed bones, found in a cave in the lower Galilee region of northern Israel, are seen in this undated
handout picture released by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem November 4, 2008.

An ancient grave unearthed in modern-day Israel containing 50 tortoise shells, a human foot and body
parts from numerous animals is likely one of the earliest known shaman burial sites, researchers said on
Monday.

REUTERS/
Naftali Hilger/
Hebrew University/Handout
(ISRAEL).
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2009, 09:28:18 am »










                                                                    P A L E S T I N E






Palestine is a name which has been widely used since Roman times to refer to the region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

Other terms that have been used to refer to all or part of this area include Israel, "Greater Israel" (Hebrew
Eretz Yisrael), Retenu (Ancient Egyptian) Southern Syria, Greater Syria, Arabistan, Canaan, and the Holy Land.

In the broad geographical sense, Palestine refers to an area that includes contemporary Israel and the Palestinian territories, parts of Jordan, and parts of Lebanon and Syria.

In the narrow sense, it refers to the area within the boundaries of the former British Mandate of Palestine (1920-1948) west of the Jordan River.
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2009, 09:29:07 am »










                                        Paleolithic and Neolithic periods (1 mya–5000 BCE)






Human remains found at El-'Ubeidiya, 2 miles (3 km) south of Lake Tiberias date back as early as 500,000
years ago.

The discovery of the Palestine Man in the Zuttiyeh Cave in Wadi Al-Amud near Safad in 1925 pro-
vided some clues to human development in the area.

In the caves of Shuqba in Ramallah and Wadi Khareitun in Bethlehem, stone, wood and animal bone
tools were found and attributed to the Natufian culture (c. 12800–10300 BCE).

Other remains from this era have been found at Tel Abu Hureura, Ein Mallaha, Beidha and Jericho.







KEBARANS



Kebarans was an archaeological culture that lived in the eastern Mediterranean area (c. 18,000 to 10,000 BC). They were a highly mobile nomadic people of hunters and gatherers in the Levant and Sinai areas who utilized microlithic tools.

The Kebaran were also characterized by small, geometric microliths, and were thought to lack the specialized grinders and pounders found in later Near Eastern cultures.

The Kebaran were thought to practice dispersal to upland environments in the summer, and aggregation in caves and rockshelters near lowland lakes in the winter. This diversity of environments may be the reason for the variety of tools found in the toolkits.

Being situated in the Terminal Pleistocene, the Kebaran is classified as an Epipalaeolithic society.

They are generally thought to have been ancestral to the later Natufian culture that occupied much of the same range.
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« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2009, 09:30:16 am »









                                                N A T U F I A N   C U L T U R E






The Natufian culture (IPA: [nɑˌtuː.fi.ən]) existed in the Mediterranean region of the Levant.

It was a Mesolithic culture, but unusual in that it built stone architecture before the introduction of agriculture.

The Natufian communities are possibly the ancestors of the builders of the first Neolithic settlements
of the region, which may have been the earliest in the world. There is no evidence for the deliberate cultivation of cereals, but people at the time certainly made use of wild grasses. Animals hunted include the gazelles.

The culture is a successor of Kebaran culture.
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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2009, 09:42:03 am »



The spread of Natufian culture.








                                                N A T U F I A N   C U L T U R E





The Natufian culture (pronounced /nəˌtjuːfiən/) existed in the Mediterranean region of the Levant. It was a Mesolithic culture, but unusual in that it was sedentary, or semi-sedentary, before the introduction of agriculture.

The Natufian communities are possibly the ancestors of the builders of the first Neolithic settlements of the region, which may have been the earliest in the world. There is no evidence for the deliberate cultivation of cereals, but people at the time certainly made use of wild cereals. Animals hunted include the gazelles.

The culture is a successor of Kebaran culture.

Although the picture may change as more research is done, there does not seem to have been any similarly advanced culture at the time in the whole Near East.

The name "Natufian" was chosen by Dorothy Garrod who studied the Shuqba cave in Wadi an-Natuf, about halfway between Jaffa and Ramallah.
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« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2009, 09:48:02 am »









Dating



Radiocarbon dating places this culture just before the end of the Pleistocene, in the period 12,500
to 9,500 BC.

The period is commonly split into two subperiods: Early Natufian (12,500–10,800 BC) and Late Natufian (10,800–9500 BC). The Late Natufian most likely occurred in tandem with the Younger Dryas (10,800
to 9500 BC).

In the Levant, there are more than a hundred kinds of cereals, fruits, nuts and other edible parts of plants, and the flora of the Levant during the Natufian period was not the dry, barren, and thorny landscape of today, but parkland and woodland.






Settlements



Settlements occur in the woodland belt where oak and Pistacia species dominated. The underbrush of this open woodland was grass with high frequencies of grain. The high mountains of Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon, the steppe areas of the Negev desert in Israel and Sinai, and the Syro-Arabian desert in the east put up only small Natufian living areas due to both their lower carrying capacity and the company of other groups of foragers who denuded this large region.

The habitations of the Natufian are semi-subterranean, often with a dry-stone foundation. The superstructure was probably made of brushwood. No traces of mudbrick have been found, which became common in the following Pre-Pottery Neolithic A, abbreviated PPN A. The round houses have a diameter between 3 and 6 meters, they contain a central round or subrectangular fireplace.

In Ain Mallaha traces of postholes have been identified. "Villages" can cover over 1,000 square meters. Smaller settlements have been interpreted by some researchers as camps. Traces of rebuilding in almost all excavated settlements seem to point to a frequent relocation, indicating a temporary abandonment of the settlement. Settlements have been estimated to house 100–150, but there are three categories: small, median, and large, ranging from 15 sq. m to 1,000 sq. m of people.

There are no definite indications of storage facilities.






Sedentism



A semi-sedentary life may have been made possible by abundant resources due to a favourable climate at the time, with a culture living from hunting, fishing and gathering, including the use of wild cereals. Tools were available for making use of cereals: flint-bladed sickles for harvesting, and mortars, grinding stones, and storage pits.
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« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2009, 09:50:55 am »



Remains of a wall of a Nafutian house
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« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2009, 09:52:47 am »










Lithics



The Natufian had a microlithic industry, based on short blades and bladelets. The microburin-technique was used. Geometric microliths include lunates, trapezes and triangles. There are backed blades as well. A special type of retouch (Helwan) is characteristic for the early Natufian. In the late Natufian, the Harif-point, a typical arrowhead made from a regular blade, became common in the Negev. Some scholars use it to define a separate culture, the Harifian.

Sickle blades appear for the first time. The characteristic sickle-gloss shows that they have been used to cut the silica-rich stems of cereals and form an indirect proof for incipient agriculture. Shaft straighteners made of ground stone indicate the practice of archery. There are heavy ground-stone bowl mortars as well.






Other finds



There was a rich bone industry, including harpoons and fish hooks. Stone and bone was worked into pendants and other ornaments. There are a few human figurines made of limestone (El-Wad, Ain Mallaha, Ain Sakhri), but the favourite subject of representative art seems to have been animals. Ostrich-shell containers have been found in the Negev.






Subsistence



The Natufian people lived by hunting and gathering. The preservation of plant remains is poor because of the soil conditions, but wild cereals, legumes, almonds, acorns and pistachios may have been collected. Animal bones show that gazelle (Gazella gazella and Gazella subgutturosa) were the main prey. Additionally deer, aurochs and wild boar were hunted in the steppe zone, as well as onagers and caprids (Ibex). Water fowl and freshwater fish formed part of the diet in the Jordan River valley. Animal bones from Salibiya I (12,300 – 10,800 BP) have been interpreted as evidence for communal hunts with nets.
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« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2009, 09:56:40 am »









Development of agriculture



According to one theory, it was a sudden change in climate, the Younger Dryas event (ca. 10800 to 9500 BC), that inspired the development of agriculture. The Younger Dryas was a 1,000-year-long interruption in the higher temperatures prevailing since the last ice age, which produced a sudden drought in the Levant. This would have endangered the wild cereals, which could no longer compete with dryland scrub, but upon which the population had become dependent to sustain a relatively large sedentary population. By artificially clearing scrub and planting seeds obtained from elsewhere, they began to practice agriculture.






Domesticated dog



It is at Natufian sites that the earliest archaeological evidence for the domestication of the dog is found. At the Natufian site of Ein Mallaha in Israel, dated to 12 000 BP, the remains of an elderly human and a four-to-five-month-old puppy were found buried together.  At another Natufian site at the cave of Hayonim, humans were found buried with two canids.






Burials



Burials are located in the settlements, commonly in pits in abandoned houses but also in caves in Mount Carmel and the Judean Hills. The pits were backfilled with settlement refuse, which sometimes makes the identification of grave-goods difficult. Sometimes the graves were covered with limestone slabs.

The bodies are stretched on their backs or flexed, there is no predominant orientation. There are both single and multiple burials, especially in the early Natufian, and scattered human remains in the settlements that point to disturbed earlier graves. The rate of child mortality was rather high--about one-third of the dead were between ages five and seven. Skull removal was practiced in Hayonim cave, Nahal Oren and Ain Mallaha. Sometimes the skulls were decorated with shell beads (El-Wad).

Grave goods consist mainly of personal ornaments, like beads made of shell, teeth (of red deer), bones and stone. There are pendants, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and belt-ornaments as well.

In 2008, the grave of a Natufian 'priestess' was discovered (in most media reports referred to as a shaman or witch doctor. The burial contained complete shells of 50 tortoises, which are thought to have been brought to the site and eaten during the funeral feast.
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« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2009, 10:01:40 am »









Long distance exchange



At Ain Mallaha (in Israel), Anatolian obsidian and shellfish from the Nile-valley have been found. The source of malachite-beads is still unknown.






Sites



Natufian sites include:


Syria: Tell Abu Hureyra, Mureybat, Yabrud III

Israel: Ain Mallaha (Eynan), El-Wad, Ein Gev, Hayonim, Nahal Oren, Salibiya I

Palestinian National Authority: Jericho, Shuqba

Jordan: Beidha

Lebanon: Jiita III, Borj el-Barajné, Saaidé, Aamiq II






See also



Synoptic table of the principal old world prehistoric cultures






References



1.^ Kottak, Conrad P. (2005). Window on Humanity: A Concise Introduction to Anthropology. Boston: McGraw-Hill. pp. 155–156. ISBN 0072890282.

2.^ Munro, Natalie D. (2003). "Small game, the Younger Dryas, and the transition to agriculture in the southern Levant". Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Urgeschichte 12: 47–71.
 http://www.anth.uconn.edu/faculty/munro/assets/Mitteilungen.pdf.

3.^ Bar-Yosef, Ofer (1998), "The Natufian Culture in the Levant, Threshold to the Origins of Agriculture", Evolutionary Anthropology 6 (5): 159–177, doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6505(1998)6:5<159::AID-EVAN4>3.0.CO;2-7, http://www.columbia.edu/itc/anthropology/v1007/baryo.pdf

4.^ a b "Oldest Shaman Grave Found". National Geographic 04-Nov-2008

5.^ a b Clutton-Brock, Juliet (1995). "Origins of the dog: domestication and early history". in Serpell, James. The domestic dog: its evolution, behaviour and interactions with people. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521415292.

6.^ "Archaeologists discover 12,000 year-old grave of witch doctor". Daily Mail 04-Nov-2008

7.^ "Hebrew U. unearths 12,000-year-old skeleton of 'petite' Natufian priestess". By Bradley Burston. Haaretz, 05-Nov-2008






Further reading



Balter, Michael (2005), The Goddess and the Bull, New York: Free Press, ISBN 0-7432-4360-9

Bar-Yosef, Ofer (1998), "The Natufian Culture in the Levant, Threshold to the Origins of Agriculture", Evolutionary Anthropology 6 (5): 159–177, doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6505(1998)6:5<159::AID-EVAN4>3.0.CO;2-7, http://www.columbia.edu/itc/anthropology/v1007/baryo.pdf

Bar-Yosef, Ofer; Belfer-Cohen, Anna (1999), "Encoding information: unique Natufian objects from Hayonim Cave, Western Galilee, Israel", Antiquity 73: 402–409

Bar-Yosef, Ofer (1992), Valla, Francois R., ed., The Natufian Culture in the Levant, Ann Arbor: International Monographs in Prehistory, ISBN 1879621037

Campana, Douglas V.; Crabtree, Pam J. (1990), "Communal Hunting in the Natufian of the Southern Levant: The Social and Economic Implications", Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 3 (2): 223–243

Clutton-Brock, Juliet (1999), A Natural History of Domesticated Mammals (2nd ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-63247-1

Dubreuil, Laure (2004), "Long-term trends in Natufian subsistence: a use-wear analysis of ground stone tools", Journal of Archaeological Science 31 (11): 1613–1629, doi:10.1016/j.jas.2004.04.003

Munro, Natalie D. (August-October 2004), "Zooarchaeological measures of hunting pressure and occupation intensity in the Natufian: Implications for agricultural origins", Current Anthropology 45: S5, doi:10.1086/422084, http://www.anth.uconn.edu/faculty/munro/assets/Munro2004.pdf  S6-S33.

Simmons, Alan H. (2007), The Neolithic Revolution in the Near East: Transforming the Human Landscape, University of Arizona Press, ISBN 978-0-8165-6






External links



 Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Natufian 

http://ancientneareast.tripod.com/Natufian_Culture.html Epi-Palaeolithic (European Mesolithic) Natufian Culture of Israel (The History of the Ancient Near East)]

Cultural Complexity (Hierarchical Societies [Socio-Economic-Political Inequalities) in Mesopotamia: An Outline], http://unix.temple.edu/~phansell/65online/lect8.htm




Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natufian_culture"

Categories:
 
Archaeological cultures
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« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2009, 10:03:58 am »




             
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« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2009, 10:08:34 am »






                                                             The Natufian



                                                          (12500-10200 BP)


                          The Natufian inaugurates the lengthy period under consideration.






This culture developed between 12500 and 10200 BP, on the threshold of the Neolithic which amongst other phenomena, marked the transition from predatory cultures to productive often sedentary cultures. It appeared over a vast geographic area extending North-South from the Middle Euphrates to the Sinai and Negev deserts, and West-East from the Mediterranean coast to the Jordanian plateaus.

It was identified by D. Garrod in the Shukba Cave (Wadi (...)

The Natufians, like their Paleolithic predecessors, hunted, fished and gathered: the species — both animal and plant — that they used were wild2 and extremely varied. However a major change took place during this period. In the central zone, which corresponds to the Carmel-Galilee region3, small “villages” emerged which appeared to have been occupied for most of the year. The Natufian thus marks the transition from nomadic life to a lesser degree of mobility, or a form of sedentary living.



Only the dog, an animal that was supposedly not eaten

This is the region where Natufian culture is defined the

Their circular or semi-circular houses were partially dug out and the lower part built up.

The dead were buried in these villages. The graves were mixed in with the houses or grouped in separate areas nearby.

The flint tools were made up of heavy items, such as pickaxes, as well as small ones often shaped like
a half-moon, and hence called circle segments. The heavy material in limestone and basalt was made up of grindstones and hand stones, mortar and pestles, and “fishnet sinkers”, as well as grooved stones. The Natufians were also artists. They made numerous sculptures, and stone and bone engravings. Animal themes, which predominated over the human form at that time, appear to reflect
a special relationship of man to beast.

Within the Natufian three phases are defined: the Early Natufian, the Late, and the Final. This latter phase is still poorly known. Despite numerous indices of continuity between the three phases, it would appear that overall there was a decline in the Final Natufian, for instance in the Carmel-Galilee region, which had previously been so dynamic. This latter period was also marked by small changes whose impact on the subsequent periods needs to be investigated. For instance, in Mallaha, a well-known site in the Galilee where the Final Natufian has been highly individualized, there is evidence of the beginnings of stratification of inhabited space, as well as the initiation of relationships with the North.



http://bcrfj.revues.org/document552.html.
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« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2009, 10:32:07 am »



1: Awl (Mallaha, drawing D. Ladiray).

2: Spatulas (Mallaha): a: drawing G. Deraprahamian, in: Stordeur; 1988; b et c: drawings D. Ladiray.

3: Beveled tool
(Mallaha, drawing G. Deraprahamian, in: Stordeur; 1988).









                                                                     The Natufian





The range of objects created at that time was extremely varied.

The local and trans-cultural toolbox was composed of awls, spatulas (flat tools at times suggestive of European smoothing tools), and tools with a beveled edge.

This industry existed alongside more original, complex and doubtless more specialized objects, such as handles with lateral blade slots, retouchers (probably flint pressure flaking tools), large bi-points, small bi-points or “straight hooks,” “curved hooks” as well as barbed points. The four latter tools are customarily believed to have been hunting and fishing weapons although firm evidence is still lacking.

The Natufians also made beads and pendants.

Finally, some sculpture has been found, often decorating the tools
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« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2009, 10:39:33 am »



4: Handle with lateral blade slot (Kebara, in Unger Hamilton, 1991);

5: Retoucher (Mallaha, drawing G. Deraprahamian, in: Stordeur; 1988);

6: Large bipoint (tip of a lance) (Mallaha, drawing G. Deraprahamian, in: Stordeur; 1988);

7: Small bipoint (Mallaha, drawing D. Ladiray);

8: “Harpoons”, small bipoints and “curved hooks” (Kebara, after Turville Petre, 1932).
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« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2009, 10:42:06 am »



Natufians Beads
(Wadi Hammeh, in: Edwards, 1991).









The material most often used was bone. Use of antlers was less common. The animals used for their bones coincided with those that were eaten: large bovines, deer, roebuck, gazelle (found extensively), hares and birds. The long bones, the ribs and the phalanx were all used.

The bone modification techniques were very varied. The Natufians mastered almost all of them: percussion, sawing, grooving, scraping and abrasion.

These people customarily heated their work, often in the finishing phase. We do not know how or why this was done: did it make the work easier on bone, did it strengthen the tools or did it enhance them esthetically (heating makes rich, warm, sparkling colors that are pleasing to the eye)?

The technological sequences were more or less standardized depending on the type of product. Common tools are evidence of more flexible production whereas the original and complex objects were more codified.

Initial conclusions regarding these Natufian industries have been put forward by D. Stordeur, a specialist in this field in the Near East.11 The distribution of typically Natufian attributes enabled Stordeur to define a vast cultural zone. However, a closer examination led to the differentiation of four geographic areas12 differing as to the presence of the typical attributes. The Carmel-Galilee is the richest, in that the farther from this area, the greater the loss of attributes. The decline is found in both space and time: it translates by a gradual reduction of the spectrum of objects manufactured, with lesser specialized and complex tools as common domestic tools increased, as well as by a simplification of techniques. The waning with time appears however less marked in the central Carmel-Galilee area, which was more conservative than the periphery.



Stordeur D., Outils et armes en os du gisement natoufien

Carmel-Galilee, Judea-Samarie, Negev-Sinai, Northern


 
The reasons for this loss are still not well understood. They need to be explored in detail. In addition, today we are able to specify the behavior of the bone industry at the very end of the period through excavations conducted on a site in the Galilee, Mallaha, where the final Natufian has been highly individualized.



http://bcrfj.revues.org/document552.html.
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