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The Lithic Industries of Zahrat Adh-Dhra‘ 2 and the Pre-Pottery Neolithic Period of the Southern Levant

Ghattas Jeries Sayej


This work has as its main objective to clarify the nature of the early Neolithic period in the Southern Levant, in as much as this represents a key period for the beginning of agrarian societies. This goal is achieved through the analysis of lithics recovered from Zahrat adh-Dhra‘ 2 (ZAD 2), a site located on the eastern side of the Lisan Peninsular of the Dead Sea, about 1.5 km north of adh-Dhra‘ village. The importance of ZAD 2 is its short period of occupation, which helps in clarifying the tool typology and technology of the PPNA period without the problem of admixtures from other periods. By combining the analyses of architecture, groundstone, lithics and radiocarbon dates, ZAD 2 provides decisive evidence for an extension of the PPNA in the Southern-Central Levant. In arguing this, sites from the Southern Levant are compared to their counterparts in the Central and Northern Levant and the role of diffusion or local innovation is presented.