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Truncated burial of a neonate beneath the pavement of Structure 2 (© Shubayqa Archaeological Project). 

Truncated burial of a neonate beneath the pavement of Structure 2 (© Shubayqa Archaeological Project). 

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... during the 2012 season exposed a flag- stone paved floor in Area B, which incorporated se- veral ground stone tools, a mortar and a hearth. Disar- ticulated human remains were found in two locations on top of the pavement and the remains of a neonate were found buried beneath a later pavement repair ( Richter et al. 2012). The 2012 excavations did not reveal the full extent of this pavement and since no Extending Area B revealed that the pavement was in fact not an outside area, but was originally an interior space. A semi-circular wall constructed of large basalt boulders, arching in a semi-circle for c. 4 meters, partially enclosed the structure to the north and east (Fig. 4). It appears that erosion and robbing had removed the remainder of the wall to the south and west, although there is no actual way of recon- structing its original shape and length. One basalt external wall was located that enclosed it, we hypothe- sized that this may have been an outdoor paved area. The aim of our further excavations in 2013 in Area B was to try to further trace the limits of the pavement, as well as to clarify its stratigraphic relationship with Structure 1 in Area A. To achieve this we extended Area B by 1 m to the north and 1-2 m top the east. We also removed the baulk separating Areas A and B to establish stratigraphic connections between the two. Post-excavation view of the circular hearth set into the floor of Structure 1 (© Shubayqa Archaeological Project). the mound, basalt slabs put upright to form a circular exterior wall, and finally a pavement was laid down on the inside. Having clarified the full extent of the structure we began to remove the interior pavement. This showed very clearly that the dark brown sediment that filled the interior of Structure 1 was situated beneath Struc- ture 2. The articulated burial of a neonate was reco- vered from beneath a repaired part of the pavement in 2012 ( Richter et al. 2012). This burial was found to have been cut into a preceding neonatal burial. The re- moval of the remainder of the pavement in this season allowed us to fully excavate this earlier burial, of which only the left and right humeri, radia and ulna, as well as some metacarpals and phalanges remained (Fig. ...

Citations

... In 1996 she conducted a brief test-excavation at Shubayqa 1. The site was re-excavated between 2012 and 2015 as part of the Shubayqa Archaeological Project, accompanied by the landscape survey and geomorphological sampling of the Qa' reported in this paper (Richter et al., 2014(Richter et al., , 2016a(Richter et al., , b, 2017Richter, 2014Richter, , 2017aRichter, , 2017b. In addition, extensive excavations were carried out at the late Epipalaeolithic -Pre-Pottery Neolithic A site Shubayqa 6 between 2014 and 2018 (set to continue in the future) and test excavation at a small number of other late Epipalaeolithic and early Neolithic sites in the area. ...
... In 1996 she conducted a brief test-excavation at Shubayqa 1. The site was re-excavated between 2012 and 2015 as part of the Shubayqa Archaeological Project, accompanied by the landscape survey and geomorphological sampling of the Qa' reported in this paper (Richter et al., 2014(Richter et al., , 2016a(Richter et al., , b, 2017Richter, 2014Richter, , 2017aRichter, , 2017b. In addition, extensive excavations were carried out at the late Epipalaeolithic -Pre-Pottery Neolithic A site Shubayqa 6 between 2014 and 2018 (set to continue in the future) and test excavation at a small number of other late Epipalaeolithic and early Neolithic sites in the area. ...
... Later occupation around the Qa' is also attested, but less well understood. Salvage excavations at a looted cairn on the western edge of the Qa' Shubayqa (SHUBS100; Fig. 2) produced late Neolithic material culture (Richter, 2014). Sporadic late Neolithic material culture was also found during excavations at Shubayqa 1 and 6. ...
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This paper presents a summary of work undertaken by the authors and their teams on a series of Qe'an (plural of Qa’), in the Badia of eastern Jordan. These basins are a foci for settlement in the region, with the sites described here (Shubayqa, Wisad and the Qa’ Qattafi) edged by archaeological sites dating from the late Epipalaeolithic (ca. 14,500 - 11,600 cal BP) and the Neolithic (ca. 11,700 - 6100 cal BP), and in areas still used by people today as seasonal wetlands for watering animals and growing cereal. We assess here the potential for the Qe'an sediments to provide what would be rare continuous palaeoenvironmental records for this part of SW Asia. The paper presents the first dates from the Qe'an of this region and the outline sedimentology. Much of the fill is of Holocene age, which leads to discussion of climate and landscape change over the last 15,000 years, particularly due to the close geographical relationship between these basins and archaeology. Our optically stimulated luminescence and radiocarbon dating of the basin fill suggests that there was significantly more space in the landscape for water storage in the early Holocene, which may have therefore provided this resource for people and their livestock or game for a longer duration each year than that seen today. Linked to this are hypotheses of a more vegetated landscape during this time period. Given the environmentally marginal nature of our study area subtle changes in landscape and/or climate, and human exploitation of these resources, could have led to significant, and likely detrimental for its inhabitants, environmental impacts for the region, such as desertification. Our data are suggestive of desertification occurring, and sets up a clear hypothesis for testing by future work in the region.
... 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. ...
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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
... 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 particular, the proliferation of pre-Natufian Epipalaeolithic and early Natufian sites excavated in Jordan and Syria during the first two decades of the twenty-first century clearly demonstrates that the core-periphery model has effectively collapsed. The increase in archaeological research east and north of the Bcore area^has revealed the density and complexity of pre-and early Natufian inhabitation of a variety of ecological zones from southern Jordan to Lebanon and northern Syria (Garrard and Yazbeck 2003;2013;Maher et al. 2011Maher et al. , 2012Richter et al. 2010Richter et al. , 2014. Looking further afield in the region, recent research at the site of Jeftelik in the Homs Gap, Syria, demonstrates early Natufian occupation far north of the Bcore area^ (Rodriguez et al. 2013), and Pinarbaşi, the earliest known prehistoric settlement sequence in central Anatolia, is broadly contemporary with the Levantine Early Natufian (and later PPNA and early PPNB, (Baird et al. 2013). ...
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Visiting China for the first time in October 2016, at the kind invitation of Professor Feng Li, I was immediately struck by the scale and complexity of the Neolithic archaeology. During interesting discussions with Chinese colleagues it became clear that many aspects of the archaeological narratives developed for the origins of the Neolithic in China shared many of the same explanatory models and theoretical perspectives as its prehistoric counterpart in southwest Asia (modern-day Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Anatolia). I thought it therefore appropriate in my contribution to this issue of Asian Archaeology to offer a summary of the history and development of “Neolithic transition” archaeology in southwest Asia. I hope this contribution will lead to further comparative discussions.
... Initial results of the avifauna from the Late Natufian part of the sequence have already been published (Yeomans and Richter 2016) but the assemblage from the full sequence has now been analyzed increasing the number of recorded bones from 3090 to 6722. More complete reports including a detailed description of the architecture and radiocarbon dates are forthcoming and some preliminary information is given in Richter et al. (2012;2014) but phases of occupation need summarizing here (Table 1). ...
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Analysis of the faunal assemblage from Shubayqa 1 allows detailed discussion of food procurement through the sequence of occupation spanning the Early and Late Natufian. The influence of climate, season of occupation and hunting techniques on the subsistence economy is discussed. It is argued that targeted prey varied throughout the year, with mass hunting methods providing a large proportion of the meat. In the Late Natufian a decrease in passage migrant birds is interpreted as evidence for gradual drying of the environment, or less reliable rainfall from year-to-year. Availability of resources varied between the two phases of occupation, which, despite preceding the Younger Dryas, suggests that environmental conditions were changing. However, subsistence strategies were easily amended to maintain a plentiful supply of food.
... The geographic expansion of the Natufian is broadly divided into two provinces: the Mediterranean woodland area and the more arid belt (Belfer-Cohen & Goring-Morris 2013; Goring-Morris & Belfer-Cohen 2013; Richter et al. 2014). The settlement pattern in the Mediterranean area, where Raqefet Cave is situated, includes semi-permanent settlements and other sites that were probably designated for burials ( Figure 1). ...
... retouch at the open-air sites of Hof Shahaf and Shubayqa 1 (Marder et al. 2013;Richter et al. 2014). Their position within Natufian chronology is currently unknown due to the lack of radiocarbon dating. ...
Article
The Natufian culture (c. 15–11.5 ka cal BP) marks a pivotal step in the transition from hunting and gathering to sedentism and farming in the Near East. Although conventionally divided into Early and Late phases, this internal chronology lacks support from reliable absolute dates. This is now addressed by new AMS dating from two neighbouring Natufian sites at Mount Carmel in Israel: Raqefet Cave, conventionally assigned to the Late phase of the Natufian; and el-Wad Terrace, spanning the entire Natufian sequence. Results indicate that these two sites were in fact contemporaneous at some point, but with distinct lunate assemblages. Distinguishing between Natufian phases is, therefore, more complex than previously thought; the social implications of diverse but co-existing cultural manifestations must be considered in any future reconstruction of the Natufian.
... A number of Early Epipalaeolithic (ca 22 000-17 500 cal BP) sites excavated in the dry steppe and desert environments around the Azraq Basin yielded very occasional caprine bones (see below for more detail) hinting at a wider distribution of either wild sheep or goat in an area beyond the known range of these species in the Late Pleistocene. There has been a dearth of sites excavated in moister environments towards the foothills of the Jebel Druze and the excavation of sites at Shubayqa provide the first large and well-dated faunal assemblages in this region [31][32][33][34] creating a new window into past faunal distributions. ...
... Shubayqa 1 and Shubayqa 6 date to the Natufian and PPNA respectively and are both located on the northern side of the Qa' Shubayqa approximately 900 m apart. The stratigraphic sequence of Shubayqa 1 is divided into a number of phases that represent occupation in the Early Natufian and, after a hiatus, further occupation in the Late Natufian [31,32]. The sequence is dated by 22 Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) dates with 17 from the Early Natufian sequence (approx. ...
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Wild sheep (Ovis orientalis) bones recovered from the Natufian site of Shubayqa 1 demonstrate a wider distribution of mouflon in the Late Pleistocene of the Southern Levant than previously known. Early Epipalaeolithic sites are common in the limestone steppe region of eastern Jordan but have yielded only a handful of caprine bones that cannot be identified to species level and few faunal remains from excavated Late Epipalaeolithic sites have been reported. Analysis of animal bone from Shubayqa 1 suggests a significant population of wild sheep could be found concentrated in the basalt desert environment of eastern Jordan during the Late Pleistocene, especially where higher rainfall over the Jebel Druze provided more water. A population of wild sheep was still present in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A when the nearby site of Shubayqa 6 was occupied. Hunting of diverse, locally available resources including wild sheep at the end of the Pleistocene illustrates the flexible and adaptive exploitation strategies that hunter-forager groups engaged in. This provides further evidence to the increasing body of data showing the creative and opportunistic approach of terminal Pleistocene groups allowing continued occupation even in more marginal environments in a period of environmental change.
... Ephemeral seasonal camps were also unearthed at Moghr el-Ahwal (Garrard & Yazbeck 2013) and Yabrud III/2 in the northern Levant, at Azraq 18 in the Azraq basin of the Jordanian Highlands (Garrard 1991;Richter & Maher 2013;Maher, Chapter 75 of this volume), and in the Wadi al-Hasa where steppic Early Natufian populations practised more mobile settlement and subsistence strategies (Olszewski 2010). More recently, architecture has been uncovered at Early Natufian sites (Qarassa 3 and Jeftelik) in the northern Levant (Rodriguez et al. 2013;Terradas et al. 2013) and at Shubayqa 1 in the Harra desert (Richter 2014;Richter, Chapter 79 of this volume). ...
... The largest Natufian base camps have been found in the woodland and park woodland environments of the Levantine Corridor, while in the steppelands of the northern Negev and Sinai and of eastern Jordan and Syria sites are generally smallerscale . However, in eastern Jordan, two settlements have been excavated with burials: namely Azraq 31, which is located in the Azraq oases and features in this article, and more recently Shubayqa 1 lying to the south-east of Jebel Druze (Richter et al., 2014). ...
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The collective grave from Azraq 18 in Jordan provides an exceptional case-study of Natufian burial treatment from a site outside what was traditionally regarded as the core settlement area of the Mediterranean zone. Despite the bones being in a poor state of preservation, the meticulous excavation and recording of the material from the burial pit permits the reconstruction of the funerary treatment of each individual and of the history of the collective burial feature through time. Through detailed osteological analysis, techniques for unravelling the formation processes involved in the creation of the commingled assemblage of bones are presented. These aid reconstruction of burial practices and the subsequent secondary handling of the skeletal remains. Amongst the collective graves known from the Natufian, Azraq 18 provides some of the best information on the various steps involved in their creation. In addition, two crania show traces of pigmentation attesting to elaborate and rare secondary treatment of skeletal material in Natufian contexts.
... Ground stone tools from these sites were largely limited to small assemblages, which provide only limited insights into production methods, site function and economy. Recent work in the Qa' Shubayqa area has demonstrated not only that substantial Natufian settlements also existed in this region but, moreover, that some of these date back to the Early Natufian and were continuously occupied (Richter et al. 2014). ...
... Shubayqa 1 provides a further twist to this idea. Archaeobotanical data from Shubayqa 1 shows that plant storage of organs (rhizome tubers) of the sedge family are a very common plant type in the assemblage (Figure 13) (see Richter et al. 2014). Although cereals are also present, these rhizome tubers likely constituted an essential food source for the late Natufian inhabitants of Shubayqa 1. ...
Article
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Shubayqa 1 is a newly identified early and late Natufian site in the harra desert of northeastern Jordan. In addition to buildings, and rich chipped stone, faunal, and botanical assemblages, the site has produced a large collection of ground stone tools. This paper presents the result of a preliminary study of the ground stone artefacts associated with the late Natufian phase. Results indicate that while the assemblage is overall very similar to other Natufian sites in the Mediterranean zone, there are also some notable differences. Although grinding rather than pounding tools appear to be more important at the site, many tools were seemingly involved in both grinding and pounding activities. We hypothesize that this dual function could be explained by the processing of rhizome tubers, which were found in abundance at the site, and which may have represented an important food source for the inhabitants. In addition, we argue that the relationship between ground stone tools and cereal processing has been overemphasized and the processing of other plant food resources, in this case tubers could have been equally significant. While the processing of plant foods was one function, many tools are also associated with pigment stains, suggesting that they were involved in the processing of non-vegetal matter.