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Topographic plan of Shubayqa 1 showing the layout of excavation areas and extent of the lithic scatter. 

Topographic plan of Shubayqa 1 showing the layout of excavation areas and extent of the lithic scatter. 

Citations

... It is defined by Saharo-Arabian type steppe vegetation and currently receives less than 200 mm of mean annual rainfall (Zohary 1973). The Shubayqa sites are located in the Qa' Shubayqa (see Fig. 1), a twelve square-kilometre large mudflat basin (Richter et al. 2012;Richter 2014;Richter et al. 2016). ...
... Is located on a two to three meter mound, on the northern edge of the Qa' near the abandoned Islamic period village of Khirbet Shubayqa (Richter et al. 2012(Richter et al. , 2014. Alison Betts first discovered Shubayqa 1 during survey in 1993 (Richter et al. 2012). ...
... Is located on a two to three meter mound, on the northern edge of the Qa' near the abandoned Islamic period village of Khirbet Shubayqa (Richter et al. 2012(Richter et al. , 2014. Alison Betts first discovered Shubayqa 1 during survey in 1993 (Richter et al. 2012). Between 2012-2015 the site was excavated by a team from University of Copenhagen. ...
... Shubayqa 1, a hunter-gatherer site located in the Harra basalt field c. 22 km north of the town of Safawi in northeast Jordan, has yielded archaeological materials from a sequence of deposits spanning the Early to Late/Final Natufian, between 14,400 and 11,400 cal BP (Richter et al., 2012;Richter, Arranz Otaegui, House, Rafaiah, & Yeomans, 2014;Richter, Arranz-Otaegui, Yeomans, & Boaretto, 2017). The site was identified in 1993 and briefly tested in 1996 (Betts, 1993(Betts, , 1998. ...
Article
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Objectives: To study pre- and early postnatal tooth formation and to analyze the effects of physiological disturbances on enamel and dentin formation in deciduous teeth of infants from the Late Epipaleolithic (Natufian) site Shubayqa 1. Materials and methods: Ten deciduous teeth from six infants (ages at death between 21 and 239 days) were analyzed by light and scanning electron microscopy. Results: Marked prism cross-striations and an abnormal wavy course of the prisms were recorded in pre- and postnatal enamel of all analyzed teeth. Single or multiple accentuated incremental lines were observed in prenatal enamel of nine teeth and in postnatal enamel of eight teeth. Accentuated Andresen lines and broader zones exhibiting an enhanced calcospheritic pattern were recorded in the pre- and postnatally formed dentin of nine teeth. Discussion: The structural abnormalities in the pre- and postnatally formed enamel of the infants are considered indicative of chronic stress that negatively affected the activity of secretory ameloblasts. The structural aberrations in pre- and postnatal dentin denote that odontoblasts were also affected by this stress. The presence of single or multiple accentuated incremental lines in pre- and postnatal enamel is interpreted as reflecting (short-term) impacts of higher intensity superimposed on the chronic stress. Our findings suggest compromised maternal health affecting the late fetus and compromised health in newborns. Although limited by the small number of analyzed individuals, the present study contributes to the knowledge of maternal and early infant health conditions in Late Epipaleolithic populations. KEYWORDS accentuated incremental lines, dental development, infant skeletons, maternal stress, Natufian, neonatal line
... However, the simultaneous abundant use of local chert indicates that it cannot have been worthless either. On the other hand, while it is true that the dense basalt landscape could account for a lack of regional contact between its inhabitants, and therefore a lack of trade, the presence of clearly imported high-quality flint at sites deep within the harrah negates this, as does circumstantial evidence from other sites in the region, such as Shubayqa 1, where long-distance trade is documented from the Late Epipalaeolithic onwards (Richter et al. 2012). ...
Chapter
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The climatically varied Syro-Levantine steppes feature complex dynamics of past human occupation that vary greatly across the region in terms of scale, time periods, and archaeological remains. In particular, the Late Chalcolithic (LC) and Early Bronze Age (EBA) (c. 4400‑2100 BC) saw urbanism in north-eastern Syria, smaller-scale sedentism in central Syria, and the decline of longstanding occupation in north-eastern Jordan. Despite this, the challenges faced by prehistoric populations in these uncertain environments would have been very similar; thus it is reasonable to propose that some of their solutions were also. The region-wide project 'Human Adaptation in Climatically Marginal Environments of late-fifth to third millennium BC Syria and Jordan' takes a holistic approach to investigating these arid and semi-arid regions to determine their appeal to past populations, and the effects of the natural and anthropogenic environment on settlement morphologies and societies. It uses a variety of past and present remote sensing and ground truth data, a vital part of which is the author's 'Western Harra Survey', south of Jawa in the northern badia of Jordan. The first fieldwork season, conducted October-November 2015, identified large quantities of lithic material at numerous sites, a handful of which were likely occupied during the LC/EBA, as well as potential links to raw chert material sources, adding another facet to the appeal of the harrah to past populations, on top of the well-established arguments for the exploitation of pasture land resources. Additionally, a typological seriation of the morphology of sites known as 'wheels' was commenced, which appears to be linked to different site uses and/or periods of occupation. Establishing these connections is crucial to allow mapping occupation dynamics across the greater region and comparisons with areas in Syria and beyond.
... During dehusking and milling, the groats, husk bits, powder, and flour were repeatedly hand-scooped from the mortar bottom without much effort and placed in this cupmark (Figs 8F, 8H). The one to six adjacent cupmarks appeared joined to stone-carved food tools in sites of diverse geographic regions, such as Nahal Oren's satellite sites in the Mediterranean zone , the Jordan Valley sites of Fazael VI and Gilgal VI (Eitam 2013), Shubayqa 1 in the Black Desert (Richter et al. 2012) and at the Harifian sites of the Negev Highlands (Abu Salem, Eitam 2013). From the fine flour mixed with some water, a small, thick flatbread, made of unleavened dough, was formed and baked in a setup akin to an oven (ovens were absent in the Late Epipaleolithic in the Levant). ...
... The researchers' reconstruction of the chaîne opératoire for the production of the bread is similar to the operational sequence of our experiment with the Natufian rock-cut tools at Huzuq Musa and identical in the resultant fine flour produced (Arranz Otaegui et al. 2018a: 4). Indeed, nine boulder NCMs were found at Shubayqa 1 (Richter et al. 2012). Two of them were placed in Structure 2 of the Late Natufian phase, which was built above Structure 1, where the bread remains were discovered. ...
... The Late Natufian phase of Shubayqa 1 features an extraordinary number of grinding implements and a dozen of NCMs (Richter et al. 2012;Pedersen et al. 2016). The handstones make 79% of the assemblage, compared to 15% of handstones in other Late Natufian sites (Wright 1991). ...
Article
Full-text available
The Natufian culture is generally accepted as having been a hunter-gatherer's society positioned on the "threshold of agriculture." This is based on the culture's sedentary nature and the numerous plant processing tools-sickle blades and ground stones-it had created and used, but preceding plant domestication by thousands of years. Here we describe the Natufian agro-technological system, including the first appearance of a threshing floor, hundreds of conical mortars for peeling and milling, and grinding implements that had enabled the production and supply of wild plant-food to the Natufian population in the southern Levant. The narrow conical mortar was a central component in this system. It was specially designed to dehull wild barley and mill cereal grains into fine flour for bread making, also attested by the starch of cereals and legume and striations in the mortars' walls. Additionally, few, exceptional pierced narrow conical mortars cut into large boulders deliberately placed in Natufian graves, reveal a very early symbolic "feeding of the dead." We propose that cereal food and bread were a central part of the culture's subsistence strategy and way of life, which positions the Natufian as a low-level food-producing society, between hunter-gatherers and early agriculturalists in the Levant.
... The researchers' reconstruction of the chaîne opératoire for the production of the bread is similar to the operational sequence of our experiment with the Natufian rock-cut tools at Huzuq Musa and identical in the resultant fine flour produced (Arranz-Otaegui et al. 2018a: 4). Indeed, nine boulder NCMs were found at Shubayqa 1 (Richter et al. 2012). Two of them were placed in Structure 2 of the Late Natufian phase, which was built above Structure 1, where the bread remains were discovered. ...
... The Late Natufian phase of Shubayqa 1 features an extraordinary number of grinding implements and a dozen of NCMs (Richter et al. 2012;Pedersen et al. 2016). ...
... . During dehusking and milling, the groats, husk bits, powder, and flour were repeatedly hand-scooped from the mortar bottom without much effort and placed in this cupmark (Figs 8F, 8H). The one to six adjacent cupmarks appeared joined to stone-carved food tools in sites of diverse geographic regions, such as Nahal Oren's satellite sites in the Mediterranean zone, the Jordan Valley sites of Fazael VI and Gilgal VI(Eitam 2013), Shubayqa 1 in the Black Desert(Richter et al. 2012) and at the Harifian sites of the Negev Highlands (Abu Salem,Eitam 2013). ...
Preprint
The Natufian culture is generally accepted as having been a hunter-gatherer’s society positioned on the “threshold of agriculture.” This is based on the culture’s sedentary nature and the numerous plant processing tools – sickle blades and ground stones – it had created and used, preceding plant domestication by thousands of years. Here we present the Natufian agro-technological system, including the first appearance of a threshing floor and hundreds of conical mortars - peeling and milling devices (stone tools cut in rock or ground stones are considering here as devices for producing food and other sustained goods), and grinding implements that had enabled the production and supply of wild plant-food to the Natufian population in the southern Levant. The narrow conical mortar was a central component in this system. It was specially designed to dehull wild barley and mill cereal grains into fine flour for bread making, also attested by the starch of cereals and legume and striations in the mortars’ walls. Additionally, few, exceptional pierced narrow conical mortars cut into large boulders deliberately placed in Natufian graves, reveal a very early symbolic “feeding of the dead.” We propose that cereal food and bread were a central part of the culture’s subsistence strategy and way of life, which indicates the Natufians were a low-level food-producing society linked between hunter-gatherers and early agriculture in the Levant.
... The researchers' reconstruction of the chaîne opératoire for the production of the bread is similar to the operational sequence of our experiment with the Natufian rock-cut devices at Huzuq Musa, and also identical in the resultant fine flour produced (Arranz-Otaegui et al. 2018a: 4). Indeed, nine boulder NCMs were found at Shubayqa 1 (Richter et al. 2012). Two of them were placed in Structure 2 of the Late Natufian phase, which was built above Structure 1, where the bread mentioned above remains were discovered. ...
... In the Late Natufian phases of Shubayqa 1 features an extraordinary number of grinding devices and a dozen of NCMs (Richter et al. 2012;Pedersen et al. 2016). ...
... During dehusking and milling, the contents (groats, husk bits, powder, and flour) were repeatedly hand-scooped from the mortar bottom without much effort and placed in this cupmark (Figs 8F, 8H). The adjacent cupmarks (one to six) appeared joined to stone-carved food devices in sites of diverse geographic regions, such as Nahal Oren's satellite sites in the Mediterranean zone, the Jordan Valley sites of Fazael VI and Gilgal VI(Eitam 2013), Shubayqa 1 in the Black Desert(Richter et al. 2012) and at the Harifian sites of the Negev Highlands (Abu-Salem, Eitam 2013). ...
... The researchers' reconstruction of the chaîne opératoire for the production of the bread is similar to the operational sequence of our experiment with the Natufian rock-cut devices at Huzuq Musa, and also identical in the resultant fine flour produced (Arranz-Otaegui et al. 2018a: 4). Indeed, nine boulder NCMs were found at Shubayqa 1 (Richter et al. 2012). Two of them were placed in Structure 2 of the Late Natufian phase, which was built above Structure 1, where the bread mentioned above remains were discovered. ...
... In the Late Natufian phases of Shubayqa 1 features an extraordinary number of grinding devices and a dozen of NCMs (Richter et al. 2012;Pedersen et al. 2016). ...
... During dehusking and milling, the contents (groats, husk bits, powder, and flour) were repeatedly hand-scooped from the mortar bottom without much effort and placed in this cupmark (Figs 8F, 8H). The adjacent cupmarks (one to six) appeared joined to stone-carved food devices in sites of diverse geographic regions, such as Nahal Oren's satellite sites in the Mediterranean zone, the Jordan Valley sites of Fazael VI and Gilgal VI(Eitam 2013), Shubayqa 1 in the Black Desert(Richter et al. 2012) and at the Harifian sites of the Negev Highlands (Abu-Salem, Eitam 2013). ...
Preprint
The Natufian culture is generally accepted as having been a hunter-gatherer's society positioned on the "threshold of agriculture." This is based on the culture's sedentary nature and the numerous plant processing tools-sickle blades and ground stones-it had created and used, preceding plant domestication by thousands of years. Here we present the Natufian agro-technological system, including the first appearance of a threshing floor and hundreds of conical mortars-peeling and milling devices (stone tools cut in rock or ground stones are considering here as devices for producing food and other sustained goods), and grinding implements that had enabled the production and supply of wild plant-food to the Natufian population in the southern Levant. The narrow conical mortar was a central component in this system. It was specially designed to dehull wild barley and mill cereal grains into fine flour for bread making, also attested by the starch of cereals and legume and striations in the mortars' walls. Additionally, few, exceptional pierced narrow conical mortars cut into large boulders deliberately placed in Natufian graves, reveal a very early symbolic "feeding of the dead." We propose that cereal food and bread were a central part of the culture's subsistence strategy and way of life, which indicates the Natufians were a low-level 2 food-producing society linked between hunter-gatherers and early agriculture in the Levant.
... This is partially a resultant effect of the extent of fieldwork with comparatively few Natufian or PPNA sites excavated in this region (Martin et al 2016). Recent work at Shubayqa (Richter et al 2012(Richter et al , 2014(Richter et al , 2016a(Richter et al , 2016b(Richter et al , 2017 is beginning to fill this gap by providing substantial faunal assemblages from the Late Epipalaeolithic through to the Early Neolithic (Yeomans et al 2017a, 2017b, Yeomans and Richter 2018, Yeomans 2018, and from which there is mounting evidence for domestic dogs towards the end of this sequence. This paper first presents conclusive evidence that domestic dogs were present in the Badia region by at least the early PPNA and perhaps earlier in the final centuries of the Natufian period. ...
Article
Current evidence suggests domestications of the dog were incipient developments in many areas of the world. In southwest Asia this process took place in the Late Epipalaeolithic Natufian (∼14,500–11,600 cal BP) with the earliest evidence originating from the Mediterranean zone of the southern Levant. This paper presents new data for the importance of early domestic dogs to human groups in the region beyond this ‘core’ area where the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene environment is usually thought of as less favourable for human occupation. By the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A it is demonstrated that dogs were living alongside humans in significant numbers. Most discussions of early domestic dogs assume that these animals would have facilitated the hunting of larger prey following the innate behavioural traits of their wolf ancestors. This paper suggests that the benefits of hunting with dogs could also extend to the capture of smaller prey. An increase in the hunting of such animals, as part of the broad-spectrum revolution, was not necessarily a response limited to resource reduction in the Late Pleistocene and factors such as new hunting methods need consideration.
... In this work we review the available evidence for plant exploitation during the Natufian and we contrast this information with new data from Shubayqa 1, a Natufian settlement located in northeast Jordan (Richter et al., 2012(Richter et al., , 2014Richter, 2017a,b;Yeomans and Richter, 2016;Yeomans et al., 2017;Pedersen et al., 2016). The archaeobotanical evidence from Shubayqa 1 is currently unparalleled since it derives from well-dated, stratified deposits, and has yielded one of the largest plant macroremain assemblages dated to the Natufian. ...
... One of the sites that can provide important data to characterise the plant-based subsistence during the Natufian is Shubayqa 1, which is located in northeast Jordan, close to the Jabal al-Arab/Jabal Druze (32 24 0 N/37 13 0 E, Fig. 1, number 40). Shubayqa 1 was discovered and initially dug by Alison Betts in the 1990s (Betts, 1993(Betts, , 1998a, but four new seasons of excavation were carried out between 2012 and 2015 by a team from the University of Copenhagen (Richter et al., 2012(Richter et al., , 2014Richter, 2017a,b). These new excavations have resulted in the recovery of more than 250 flotation samples dated to the Early and Late Natufian. ...
... The content was characterized by an upper layer of brown wind blown sediment and a thick layer (0.2 m) of ash rich sediment replete with numerous charred plan remains, lithic artefacts and fauna. The latter included the remains of gazelle, waterfowl and hare (Richter et al., 2012(Richter et al., , 2014. Two AMS dates place the last use of the fireplace between~14.4 and 14.2 ka cal. ...
Article
The Natufian culture (c. 14.6–11.5 ka cal. BP) represents the last hunter-gatherer society that inhabited southwest Asia before the development of plant-food production. It has long been suggested that Natufians based their economy on the exploitation of the wild ancestors of the Neolithic “founder crops” (i.e. cereals and large-seeded legumes), and that these hunter-gatherers were therefore on the “threshold to agriculture”. In this work we review the available data on Natufian plant exploitation and we report new archaeobotanical evidence from Shubayqa 1, a Natufian site located in northeastern Jordan (14.6–11.5 ka cal. BP). Shubayqa 1 has produced an exceptionally large plant assemblage, including direct evidence for the continuous exploitation of club-rush tubers (often regarded as “missing foods”) and other wild plants, which were probably used as food, fuel and building materials. Taking together this data we evaluate the composition of archaeobotanical assemblages (plant macroremains) from the Natufian to the Early Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (EPPNB). Natufian assemblages comprise large proportions of non-founder plant species (>90% on average), amongst which tubers, small-seeded grasses and legumes, and fruits and nuts predominate. During the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, in particular the EPPNB, the presence of “founder crops” increases dramatically and constitute up to c. 42% of the archaeobotanical assemblages on average. Our results suggest that plant exploitation strategies during the Natufian were very different from those attested during subsequent Neolithic periods. We argue that historically driven interpretations of the archaeological record have over-emphasized the role of the wild ancestors of domesticated crops previous to the emergence of agriculture.
... A brief test excavation was carried out at the site in 1996, which revealed part of a structure. The site was relocated in 2009 and has been under excavation by the University of Copenhagen from 2012-2015 [56][57][58][59][60][61][62] . Shubayqa 1 is centered on a low mound that rises 2-3 meters above the surrounding area (Fig. 1). ...
Article
Full-text available
The Late Epipalaeolithic Natufian (~14,600 − 11,500 cal BP) is a key period in the prehistory of southwest Asia. Often described as a complex hunting and gathering society with increased sedentism, intensive plant exploitation and associated with an increase in artistic and symbolic material culture, it is positioned between the earlier Upper- and Epi-Palaeolithic and the early Neolithic, when plant cultivation and subsequently animal domestication began. The Natufian has thus often been seen as a necessary pre-adaptation for the emergence of Neolithic economies in southwest Asia. Previous work has pointed to the Mediterranean woodland zone of the southern Levant as the ‘core zone’ of the Early Natufian. Here we present a new sequence of 27 AMS radiocarbon dates from the Natufian site Shubayqa 1 in northeast Jordan. The results suggest that the site was occupied intermittently between ~14,600 − 12,000 cal BP. The dates indicate the Natufian emerged just as early in eastern Jordan as it did in the Mediterranean woodland zone. This suggests that the origins and development of the Natufian were not tied to the ecological conditions of the Mediterranean woodlands, and that the evolution of this hunting and gathering society was more complex and heterogeneous than previously thought.