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Beyond the Levant: first evidence of a pre-pottery Neolithic incursion into the Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia.

Crassard R, Petraglia MD, Parker AG, Parton A, Roberts RG, Jacobs Z, Alsharekh A, Al-Omari A, Breeze P, Drake NA, Groucutt HS, Jennings R, Régagnon E, Shipton C - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Pre-Pottery Neolithic assemblages are best known from the fertile areas of the Mediterranean Levant.Technological analysis of the typologically diagnostic Jebel Qattar 101 projectile points indicates a unique strategy to manufacture the final forms, thereby raising the possibility of either direct migration of Levantine groups or the acculturation of mobile communities in Arabia.The discovery of the Early Holocene site of Jebel Qattar suggests that our view of the geographic distribution and character of Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures may be in need of revision.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: CNRS, Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée, UMR 5133 Archéorient, Lyon, France. remy.crassard@mom.fr

ABSTRACT
Pre-Pottery Neolithic assemblages are best known from the fertile areas of the Mediterranean Levant. The archaeological site of Jebel Qattar 101 (JQ-101), at Jubbah in the southern part of the Nefud Desert of northern Saudi Arabia, contains a large collection of stone tools, adjacent to an Early Holocene palaeolake. The stone tool assemblage contains lithic types, including El-Khiam and Helwan projectile points, which are similar to those recorded in Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B assemblages in the Fertile Crescent. Jebel Qattar lies ∼500 kilometres outside the previously identified geographic range of Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures. Technological analysis of the typologically diagnostic Jebel Qattar 101 projectile points indicates a unique strategy to manufacture the final forms, thereby raising the possibility of either direct migration of Levantine groups or the acculturation of mobile communities in Arabia. The discovery of the Early Holocene site of Jebel Qattar suggests that our view of the geographic distribution and character of Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures may be in need of revision.

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Map of the Levantine sites with Helwan points.It shows the Abu Salem points sub-type, based on maps in Kozlowski and Aurenche [73]. JQ-101 lays more than 500 km from the “core area”.
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pone-0068061-g010: Map of the Levantine sites with Helwan points.It shows the Abu Salem points sub-type, based on maps in Kozlowski and Aurenche [73]. JQ-101 lays more than 500 km from the “core area”.

Mentions: A total of four Helwan points were recovered from JQ-101. This type of point was first documented in Egypt, in the governorate of Faiyum, 25 km south of Cairo, where they were accompanied by a range of microlithic and blade tools. ‘Helwan Points’ described by Caton-Thompson and de Morgan [83] consisted of retouched edges, with distinctive notches and tangs. Similarities between these point types and those found in Syria and Palestine are apparent (Figure 10). Gopher [83] suggests a spread of the Helwan point tradition from the Middle Euphrates to the rest of the Levant. According to Aurenche and Kozlowski [7], Helwan points are characterized by a short tang that replaces the concave base of the El-Khiam points and are considered by the authors as a ‘logical’ development of the El-Khiam points [7].


Beyond the Levant: first evidence of a pre-pottery Neolithic incursion into the Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia.

Crassard R, Petraglia MD, Parker AG, Parton A, Roberts RG, Jacobs Z, Alsharekh A, Al-Omari A, Breeze P, Drake NA, Groucutt HS, Jennings R, Régagnon E, Shipton C - PLoS ONE (2013)

Map of the Levantine sites with Helwan points.It shows the Abu Salem points sub-type, based on maps in Kozlowski and Aurenche [73]. JQ-101 lays more than 500 km from the “core area”.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3716651&req=5

pone-0068061-g010: Map of the Levantine sites with Helwan points.It shows the Abu Salem points sub-type, based on maps in Kozlowski and Aurenche [73]. JQ-101 lays more than 500 km from the “core area”.
Mentions: A total of four Helwan points were recovered from JQ-101. This type of point was first documented in Egypt, in the governorate of Faiyum, 25 km south of Cairo, where they were accompanied by a range of microlithic and blade tools. ‘Helwan Points’ described by Caton-Thompson and de Morgan [83] consisted of retouched edges, with distinctive notches and tangs. Similarities between these point types and those found in Syria and Palestine are apparent (Figure 10). Gopher [83] suggests a spread of the Helwan point tradition from the Middle Euphrates to the rest of the Levant. According to Aurenche and Kozlowski [7], Helwan points are characterized by a short tang that replaces the concave base of the El-Khiam points and are considered by the authors as a ‘logical’ development of the El-Khiam points [7].

Bottom Line: Pre-Pottery Neolithic assemblages are best known from the fertile areas of the Mediterranean Levant.Technological analysis of the typologically diagnostic Jebel Qattar 101 projectile points indicates a unique strategy to manufacture the final forms, thereby raising the possibility of either direct migration of Levantine groups or the acculturation of mobile communities in Arabia.The discovery of the Early Holocene site of Jebel Qattar suggests that our view of the geographic distribution and character of Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures may be in need of revision.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: CNRS, Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée, UMR 5133 Archéorient, Lyon, France. remy.crassard@mom.fr

ABSTRACT
Pre-Pottery Neolithic assemblages are best known from the fertile areas of the Mediterranean Levant. The archaeological site of Jebel Qattar 101 (JQ-101), at Jubbah in the southern part of the Nefud Desert of northern Saudi Arabia, contains a large collection of stone tools, adjacent to an Early Holocene palaeolake. The stone tool assemblage contains lithic types, including El-Khiam and Helwan projectile points, which are similar to those recorded in Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B assemblages in the Fertile Crescent. Jebel Qattar lies ∼500 kilometres outside the previously identified geographic range of Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures. Technological analysis of the typologically diagnostic Jebel Qattar 101 projectile points indicates a unique strategy to manufacture the final forms, thereby raising the possibility of either direct migration of Levantine groups or the acculturation of mobile communities in Arabia. The discovery of the Early Holocene site of Jebel Qattar suggests that our view of the geographic distribution and character of Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures may be in need of revision.

Show MeSH