Tobias Richter's research while affiliated with IT University of Copenhagen and other places

Publications (54)

Article
Archaeobotanical and genetic analysis of modern plant materials are drawing a complex scenario for the origins of cereal agriculture in the Levant. This paper presents an improved method for the study of early farming harvesting systems based on the texture analysis of gloss observed on sickle blades through confocal microscopy. Using this method,...
Article
The use of animal bones to form figurative representations is well documented ethnographically and archaeologically. In this paper, we describe an intriguing group of bones from Shubayqa 6, a transitional Late Natufian and Pre-Pottery Neolithic A site in north-east Jordan, and consider the possibility that these bones are figurative representations...
Article
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The so-called Triticoid-type grains are known from several prehistoric sites in southwest Asia and their identification has long been unclear. They resemble the grains of wheats and researchers suggested they may represent an extinct Triticeae species, possibly closely related to wild crop progenitors. In this study we identify the Triticoid-type g...
Article
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The Aceramic Neolithic (∼9600 to 7000 cal BC) period in the Zagros Mountains, western Iran, provides some of the earliest archaeological evidence of goat ( Capra hircus ) management and husbandry by circa 8200 cal BC, with detectable morphological change appearing ∼1,000 y later. To examine the genomic imprint of initial management and its implicat...
Article
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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...
Article
Communal buildings have been reported from a number of early Neolithic sites from the Levant and Anatolia, but none were known from the central Zagros. Here we report on the recent excavations at Asiab, Kermanshah province, Iran, and argue that the principal feature found during Robert Braidwood’s excavation at the site in 1960 should be interprete...
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...
Preprint
Full-text available
Archaeobotanical and genetic analysis of modern plant materials are drawing a complex scenario for the origins of cereal agriculture in the Levant. This paper presents an improved method for the study of early farming harvesting systems based on the texture analysis of gloss observed on sickle blades. We identify different harvesting activities (un...
Article
There is extensive evidence for extraction of grease and fat from bones of ungulates at Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene sites in the Southern Levant. Excavations at Shubayqa 6 identified an area where extensive processing of carcasses took place at the transition between the Late Natufian to Early Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA). Large quantitie...
Article
In the 1960–70s, fieldwork in the central Zagros Mountains produced evidence of early Holocene Neolithic settlements in this mountainous zone along the ‘Eastern wing’ of the Fertile Cre-scent. Following a long hiatus in fieldwork, new investigations have highlighted once more the po-tential of the transitional Neolithic (c. 9600–8000 BC) and early...
Article
In the 1960–70s, fieldwork in the central Zagros Mountains produced evidence of early Holocene Neolithic settlements in this mountainous zone along the ‘Eastern wing’ of the Fertile Cre-scent. Following a long hiatus in fieldwork, new investigations have highlighted once more the po-tential of the transitional Neolithic (c. 9600–8000 BC) and early...
Article
The appearance of rich and diverse funerary practices is one of the hallmarks of the Late Epipalaeolithic Natufian in the Levant. Numerous burials at a number of sites excavated mostly in the Mediterranean zone of the southern Levant have fed into the interpretation of the Natufian as a sedentary society of complex hunter-gatherers. Here, we report...
Article
The contents of a pit located in the centre of a large communal structure at Asiab in the central Zagros mountains provides rare evidence for ritual food practices during the Early Neolithic (~9660–9300 cal. bc ). This pit contained the skulls of at least 19 wild boars carefully placed inside and subsequently sealed. Antler from red deer and the sk...
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...
Article
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The Fertile Crescent, its hilly flanks and surrounding drylands has been a critical region for studying how climate has influenced societal change, and this review focuses on the region over the last 20,000 years. The complex social, economic, and environmental landscapes in the region today are not new phenomena and understanding their interaction...
Article
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The origins of bread have long been associated with the emergence of agriculture and cereal domestication during the Neolithic in southwest Asia. In this study we analyze a total of 24 charred food remains from Shubayqa 1, a Natufian hunter-gatherer site located in northeastern Jordan and dated to 14.6-11.6 ka cal BP. Our finds provide empirical da...
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), an...
Article
The site of Tappeh Asiab in Iran is one of only a handful of Early Neolithic sites known from the Zagros Mountains. Discovered during Robert Braidwood's ‘Iranian Prehistory’ project, the site has seen limited publication of its early excavations. Here, the authors challenge some of the initial assumptions made about the site by discussing the first...
Article
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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...
Article
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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...
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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 id...
Chapter
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On- and off-site environmental archives relating to archaeological sites in the Azraq Basin, Jordan, are used to relate Epipalaeolithic human behavior to local, and then regional, records of palaeoenvironmental change. We review recent work from three sites: Ayn Qasiyya, Kharaneh IV, and Shubayqa. Human occupation of the basin was more or less cont...
Article
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The Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA; c. 9600–8500 cal BC) period in the Levant provides the earliest confirmed evidence for plant cultivation anywhere in the world, marking a significant escalation in the human management of plants towards fully fledged agricultural food production. Until now, the majority of PPNA sites have been documented in the Jo...
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...
Article
This paper discusses the Late Natufian avifaunal remains from Shubayqa 1, a Late Epipalaeolithic site situated in north-east Jordan. The site has produced an exceptionally large and well-preserved assemblage of bird bones recovered from a substantial midden deposit, and from the analysis of this material, we argue that there is evidence for en mass...
Article
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The archaeological site of Kharaneh IV in Jordan's Azraq Basin, and its relatively near neighbour Jilat 6 show evidence of sustained occupation of substantial size through the Early to Middle Epipalaeolithic (c. 24,000–15,000 cal BP). Here, we review the geomorphological evidence for the environmental setting in which Kharaneh IV was established. T...
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The ecological impacts of human activities have infiltrated the whole of the ‘natural world’ and precipitated calls for a newly defined geological epoch – the Anthropocene. While scholars discuss tipping-points and scale, viewed over the longue durée, it is becoming clear that we have inherited the compounding consequences of a constructed environm...
Article
The term Epipalaeolithic, like the Neolithic, was coined in the context of late 19th- and early 20th-century archaeological research in Europe and North Africa. It arrived later in South-west Asia, where it was used to contrast late glacial hunter-gatherers with the sedentary, socially complex farmers of the Holocene aceramic Neolithic. In this con...
Article
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A series of radiocarbon dates from two Epipalaeolithic sites – Kharaneh IV and Ayn Qasiyya – in the Azraq Basin of eastern Jordan provide a new perspective on the chronology and settlement patterns of this part of southwest Asia during the Late Pleistocene. We discuss the implications to our understanding of the chronology of Late Pleistocene lithi...
Article
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Few cultural developments have taken on as much archeological significance as when people began living in villages and producing their own food. The economic, social, technological, and ideological transformations immediately preceding and following these changes were profound. Early models of culture change associated with pre-agricultural societi...
Article
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Ten thousand years before Neolithic farmers settled in permanent villages, hunter-gatherer groups of the Epipalaeolithic period (c. 22-11,600 cal BP) inhabited much of southwest Asia. The latest Epipalaeolithic phase (Natufian) is well-known for the appearance of stone-built houses, complex site organization, a sedentary lifestyle and social comple...
Article
The Epipalaeolithic Foragers in Azraq Project is a multi-disciplinary research programme exploring landscape change and prehistoric occupation in the Azraq Basin, Eastern Jordan. Excavations at several Epipalaeolithic sites and geomorphological survey and investigations throughout the basin over the last four years provide a rich record of the inte...
Article
Wetlands are a key archive for paleoclimatic and archeological work, particularly in arid regions, as they provide a focus for human occupation and preserve environmental information. The sedimentary record from 'Ayn Qasiyya, a spring site on the edge of the Azraq Qa, provides a well-dated sequence through the last glacial–interglacial transition (...
Article
This article discusses social interaction in the Epipalaeolithic of southwest Asia. Discussions of contact, social relationships and social organization have primarily focused on the Pre-Pottery Neolithic and are often considered to represent typical hallmarks of emergent farming societies. The hunter-gatherers of the final Pleistocene, in particul...
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Detailed analysis of the anatomy and taphonomic process of a burial in Jordan shows that the body was originally bound in a sitting position and placed in marshland, where it collapsed into the splayed tableau eventually recovered by excavation. The authors succeed in reconstructing a burial rite from one of the most elusive of mortuary phases: the...
Article
Full-text available
Excavations at the Early Epipalaeolithic site of ‘Ayn Qasiyya in the Azraq Oasis in Eastern Jordan contribute major new data to our understanding of settlement patterns, ecological proxies on cultural change, burial practices and social interaction during the final Pleistocene in Southwest Asia. This paper presents a summary of work at the site to...

Citations

... Traceology builds on the use of microscopy to identify technological and functional related traces, a principle quantitative methods of functional analysis are being explored (Caux et al. 2018;Galland et al. 2019;Ibáñez and Mazzucco 2021;Pedergnana et al. 2020). By examining the surfaces and edges on prehistoric stone tools using different magnifications, micro-negatives, striations, micro-polishes and other traces of abrasion are plotted on the artefacts. ...
... Marreiros et al., 2015), incluyendo a diferentes materias primas antes poco o marginalmente consideradas, como por ejemplo rocas ígneas, cuarzos y cuarcitas Márquez et al., 2016;Perdegnana y Ollé, 2017;Lemorini et al., 2019). Aparte de experimentaciones más controladas (Calandra et al., 2019;Paixao et al., 2021) y el uso de diferentes microscopias complementarias (Fernández Marchena, 2021), en los últimos años se han desarrollado propuestas que buscan cuantificar de manera numérica las huellas de uso para llegar a discernir diferentes materiales y usos Ibáñez-Estévez et al., 2021). ...
... This drainage continues to the south approximately 10 km before emptying into a plain about 40 km southeast of Azraq. Directly to the north of the qa', only a few isolated hunting or pastoral camps and burin sites are known [29]. Along this drainage system, 22 basalt-topped mesas rise above the desert floor by about 40-60 m (Figures 2 and 3). ...
... For the first time, this method was used not only to quantitatively discriminate 3D images of polish generated by different worked materials but also to identify the use of experimental and archaeological tools. It was applied to a collection of archaeological sickles from several archaeological sites dating from the Natufian to the Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic B periods in the Near East [37][38][39][40]. ...
... The domestication of goat (Capra hircus) started 11,000 years ago in the fertile crescent [1,2]. Based on archaeological caprine remains (around 8200 years BC) from the Zagros mountains (eastern Fertile Crescent, western Iran) and by combining archaeozoological and archaeogenomic approaches, Daly et al. [3] reported the existence of two distinct clusters of goats: one with domestic affinity and one with wild affinity. These findings indicate, that these goats from the late ninth/early eighth millennium BC were genetically diverse, already distinct from wild goats and ancestral to later domestic goats [3]. ...
... The use-wear analyses carried out are too few to differentiate regional tendencies such as food practices or technological choices, and for Northern Mesopotamia there are no chronologically early data. New studies however propose for example the processing of tubers with GPT (Pedersen et al. 2016), hinting at the existence of regional specific foodways which are visible in wear on GPT. ...
... The domestication of grain crops altered the shape and size of their seeds as well as the thickness of their coats [43,44]. Morphometrics, the measurement of seed size and shape, is used to identify domestication, individual species, and the evolution of landraces (e.g., [43,45]), thereby contributing to understanding the development and spread of arable agriculture. This approach has been successful in detecting the predomestication cultivation of fruits, such as the beginnings of viticulture in the Aegean [46], and natural and anthropogenic effects upon the evolution of crop varieties [47]. ...
... Initial studies suggested an immediate postnatal arrest in growth lasting several days (Schour and Massler, 1937), however vital tissue labelling and counts of incremental features reveal that hard tissue secretion continues daily throughout and after birth (Smith, 2006;Antoine et al., 2009), although sometimes at a reduced rate (Birch and Dean, 2009). Identification of this singular life event has enabled a range of consequential applications, including precise age determination from fossil children, inferring premature birth and postnatal survivorship, detecting the initiation of milk consumption, and even identifying a Neanderthal child's season of birth (e.g., Smith et al., 2010;Austin et al., 2013;Birch and Dean, 2014;Witzel, 2014;Smith et al., 2018;Kierdorf et al., 2021). ...
... Seals were also used at the Udall, and at Quoygrew where they were found mainly in the Viking Age/Late Norse farm mound, one of two areas where gannet bones were most common (Harland 2012:142-3, Serjeantson 2013. At Neolithic Shubayqa in Jordan, Yeomans and Richter (2020) showed that gazelle bones and waterfowl carcasses were likely being processed and rendered for oil at the same place. ...
... The identification is based on morphological analyses of modern and archaeological material from several grass species and was first achieved with well-preserved specimens from Chogha Golan. We further examined Triticoid-type grains from recently excavated samples from Early Neolithic Ganj Dareh (Darabi et al. 2019) and archived samples from Tell Brak in northeast Syria, dating from the Late Chalcolithic to the Late Bronze Age (McMahon et al. 2007;Hald 2008), which confirmed their identification as H. piliferum. We provide a detailed distribution map of H. piliferum, based on the study of herbarium specimens at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London, and review the species' biology and ecological adaptations. ...