ANT200Y1Y Lecture 9 June 10

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12 Jun 2014
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ANT200Y1Y L9 June 10, 2014
Epipalaeolithic & Mesolithic
Epipaleolithic (Middle East) starts when Upper Paleaothic still
occurring in Europe
oMagdelenian (18,000 – 11,000 BP)
Same time as Kebara
oUpper Paleolithic ended in Middle East in 25,000 BP
oSlow decrease of glaciers
oSometimes describes north Africa (also described as
Mesolithic)
Mesolithic
oEuropean
oNot Middle East
Pleistocene/Holocene
Extinction of certain species
+ Change in climate,
+ Increasing human population
ofood opportunities expanded
Required a shift in subsistence strategies.
The development of localized cultures as dif responses to change:
a) Broad Spectrum Evolution: Expand & broaden diet to
include species previously unavailable
oUpper paleolithic focused on herd migratory animals
oNow, If it moved, they ate it!
oMiddle Eastern
oEventually Narrows in Neolithic
b) Narrowed diet to focus intensely on a few specific species
oAreas where # of resources didn’t broaden
oNorth Africa
oEuropean Mesolithic
oHunter & gatherers intensified their use but
improved their technology
oGathering wild grains
c) *some regions had great bounty & ppl became more
sedentary based on that food patch
oNatural envt already ideal
Assured envt wont get exhausted
oBecomes possible to be sedentary
oWhether for yrs, or repeated occupations over seasons
Middle East = Epipalaeolithic
Europe = Mesolithic
North America = Archaic
The Fertile Crescent
Location
oIn south from Israel & Jordan
oIn north into Turkey, Syria, Lebanon
oIn east into northern Iraq & western Iran
Geography
oVaries from northern woodlands thru open park
woodlands (patches of trees interspersed w meadows,
diverse terrain) to steppes (grassland) & true deserts in
the south and east
Wide range of territories
More moist, temperate in North
Drier in South
Cooler than today, easier to manage
oFlood plains – Mesopotamia later developed here
Mediterranean Climate
oVaries from dry summers to winter rains
Sometimes summer rains
More moist than it was today
In Middle East, moist winter is better for
growth; dry summer
(since southern hemisphere)
oHas stands of wild cereals
Archaeological Record
oShift to agriculture was a slow process
oNo “agricultural/neolithic revolution”
oTransitional stages
Took thousands of yrs
Epipaleolithic has 3 separate cultural periods
Early: Kebaran then Geometric Kebaran
Middle
Late
Kebaran & Geometric Kebaran
25,000 – 15,000 BP
Characteristic stone tools: bladelets
oCompleted, not refuse
oComposite tool (use many teeth)
oSlightly curved, relatively small
oGeo Keb has triangles & rectangles
Allows different hafting
Broad spectrum subsistence
oWide range of food
oWild grasses, fruits, nuts, deer, gazelle, fish, birds
Hunted 60-95% gazelles or hunt deer
Back and forth btwn woodland & grassland hunting
oNo evidence of plant or animal domestication (for food)
There might’ve been experimentation
Sites largely small camps made by highly mobile H-Gs
oBurials tend to be simple
No grave goods
oNot deep deposits
oEphemeral sites
oEsp in Middle East don’t find Upper Paelolithic burials
No preservation
So don’t know about anatomy
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20,000 – 10,000 BP
Lake Lasan (salty lake) in Jordan River Valley
oDivided Ohalo II & Kharaneh IV extensively
Ignore red dot
Ohalo II, Israel
One of the oldest Kebaran sites
oCan push back beginning of Kebaran usigng
dendrochronology
c. 25,000 – 20,400 BP
Submerged site on Sea of Galilee
oFirst time uncovered in 1989, now submerged again
Remains of 6 brush huts, 3-4.5 m long (sizeable), adjacent
hearths/pits (cooking of food outside)
oEach hut had personal large hearth
Cooking a lot
oSubterranean floors
Dug down half a foot, felt like you were entering
something
o1st evidence of hut sites – oak, pistachio wood
Burial of adult male
oFlexed position (curled up like sleep)
oNo grave goods but buried facing the camp (East, a
tradition to face the rising sun, but don’t know)
oStone underneath his head (like pillow)
o35-40 yrs old – past his prime
oMaybe disabled
oNot large community
Fishing/birding economy
oMuch records of dif kinds of fish, birds
Perhaps camped there specifically for them
oAlso hunted gazelle, deer on islands
oProcessed wild grains (Spring); collected nuts & fruit
(Fall)
Grinding stones
oOccupied for a long period of time, twice a yr
Kharaneh IV Jordan
Kebaran
20,000 – 18,600 BP
Formerly oasis
21,000 m2 (Huge) - aggregate site
oMultiple Keberan bands coming together, perhaps on
seasonal basis
oMass gazelle hunting
Prime area for herds
Marine shell beads, fox paws (bag?)
o4 separate fox paws together w 1 flint blade & shells in the
middle
oPersonal items
2 hut structures
o2-3 m wide, occupied many times
oBurned remains of old hut built new hut on top
oSmaller than Ohalo II
Burials – 2 adult males
oPossibly buried under hut floor
Repeated bhvr – ideas about development of
ownership, generational ties to land
oBuried the season before when hut burned, in ash layer
oNo grave goods
Geometric Kebaran – getting closer to Middle Epipaleolithic
Wadi Mataha, Jordan
Geometric Kebaran
17,600 – 16,500 BP
Small camp site
Main burial, adult male, fairly short for this time period (5
foot 3)
oBuried w/ frag. juvenile skeleton
oPositioned face-down, “hog-tied”
Hands & legs tied together
oBroken bowl w flint point = grave goods or refuse?
oHead wound – peri-mortem
Unsure if happened before or after death
Could be cause of death
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