Lithic Technology and Regional Variation in Late Neolithic Jordan

Dawn Nadine Cropper


The Late Neolithic period (8350-7850 calBP) represents a phase in Jordan’s prehistory of which there is little archaeological certainty; this is particularly true when considering the dichotomy of sites in the fertile Mediterranean region and the arid badia. This research has two aims: 1) to conduct the first comprehensive technological analysis of a large assemblage from a pottery-bearing site in the Mediterranean region, and 2) to investigate regional variation in the Late Neolithic period through comparisons of the lithic technology. The results of this research indicate that disparate reduction strategies were used in each region, and these differences cannot be attributed to differential raw material constraints. Similarities between the regions were identified, suggesting that the populations may have originated in the same area. Because the populations were largely isolated, their reduction strategies diverged over time, although some common elements were retained. While this research acknowledgesthat more comprehensive analyses of Mediterranean assemblages are needed, the current data supports the integration model, whereby ovicaprids were adopted by the hunter-gatherers in the badia.