Socio-economic changes in flint production and consumption in the PPNB period of the Greater Petra Region, Southern Levant

purschwitz_blogThis presentation is the outcome of a Ph.D, which recently was completed at Freie Universität Berlin (Purschwitz 2016). This paper presents the results of the chipped lithic analysis from five Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB, ca. 8600-6900 BCE) sites (Ail 4, Ba’ja, Basta, Beidha and Shkârat Msaied) which all are situated at the Greater Petra Region. Major changes in the organization of flint production and blank consumption are in evidence with the emergence of the large mega-sites during the late PPNB (7500-6900 BCE). An increasing number of bidirectional blade consuming households are opposed to few producing workshops, which operate beyond their own demand and produce on a regional supply level. Households which have restricted access to the late PPNB bidirectional bade network respond with self-supply strategies by using alternative blade technologies. This phenomenon or “technological dualism” between inter-site production and household consumption rises with increasing specialization in crafts and comprises all levels of production from raw material procurement to exchange.

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Christoph Purschwitz, FU Berlin

Christoph Purschwitz, FU Berlin.

I argue that the emergence of the dualistic lithic economy (in the Greater Petra Region) is the result of changes in the network structure of the households. While MPPNB sites of the Greater Petra Region are small and only seasonal used, LPPNB mega-sites can be huge and permanently occupied by several hundreds to thousand inhabitants. According to general network theory the personal network (family, relatives, friends) of a MPPNB household is likely to be distributed over several more or less distant sites, while the personal network of a LPPNB household appears to be restricted to the mega-site itself. Additionally, it is likely that at mega-sites such as Basta or ‘Ain Ghazal an increasing number of inhabitant did not share the households personal networks and did not had social relations to each other. I expect that the lack of social control within the late PPNB mega-sites promoted profit-oriented thinking (negative reciprocity, surplus production) and constituted in increasing social inequality.

Literature:

Purschwitz, C. 2016. The Lithic Economy of Flint during the Early Neolithic of the Greater Petra Region. Geological Availability, Procurement, Production, and Modes of Distribution of Flint from the Early to Late PPNB-Period. Ph.D.-Thesis, Freie Universität Berlin (in German).

Event Information:

Date, Time: 12/12/2016, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Room 0.024, Biozentrum (Building 304), Zülpicher Str. 47b, Cologne

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Iberomaurusian reduction sequences in northeast Morocco

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North-western Africa experienced significant environmental shifts during Marine Isotope Stage 2, including periods of major aridity and intense cooling (Heinrich events 2 and 1).

In order to understand the relationship between those environmental fluctuations and the technical systems/land-use dynamics of local Late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers, the results of work recently undertaken at the archaeological site of Ifri El Baroud (NE Morocco) are presented.

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Alessandro Potì, PhD Candidate in Project C2.

The site yields a well-stratified sequence of ca. 3 m thickness of LSA deposits (Early and Late Iberomaurusian) very rich in charcoal and archaeological finds. Technological analysis of the lithic assemblages compared with the study of the vertebrate fauna, molluscs and botanical remains reveal a high dynamic interplay between environmental and behavioural changes.

Ifri El Baroud is one of the few sites of the Maghreb with both Early and Late Iberomaurusian layers. For this reason it plays a relevant role in assessing the nature of continuities/discontinuities in human and landscape ecology within the context of the LSA occupation of NW Africa.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 11/07/2016, 14:00 h – 14:45 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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The Wadi Sabra – a contextual approach to the Palaeolithic landscape

Parow-Souchon_Ansab_BlogThe close comparison of four sites in the Wadi Sabra area in Southern Jordan reveals surprisingly different adaptations in terms of lithic production and land use. A general increase in technological complexity with a growing focus on the production of composite tool forms go hand in hand with fluctuating mobility and differing resource exploitation in relation to changing climatic conditions. A short overview about the cultural development of the human groups inhabiting this favourable environmental niche shall be given to reflect the current state of the PhD research project.

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Hanna Parow-Souchon, PhD Candidate in B1.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 13/06/2016, 14:45 h – 15:30 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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The Epipalaeolithic occupation of the Eastern Sahara – Aspects of a Colonisation Process

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Jan Kuper is a PhD student in project A2 “Late Quaternary High-Resolution Climate Archives in the Sahara” of the CRC 806 “Our Way to Europe”, University of Cologne (Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology). In his PhD project, he focusses on the Epipalaeolithic occupation of the Eastern Sahara.

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This postglacial reoccupation is a convenient case study to examine a migration process of colonising hunter-gatherers at relatively high temporal resolution. A key advantage of this dispersal is the fact that this population movement cannot be disputed as the desert had been uninhabitable due to hyperaridity during the Late Pleistocene for tens of millennia. Besides generic questions of origin and time, the PhD project aims at investigating why and how people spread to new and unfamiliar tracts of land.

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Jan Kuper, Project A2

Tackling these questions might not only illuminate the prehistory of the Eastern Sahara, but also help to better understand general mechanisms of migration, in particular the colonisation of uninhabited landscapes.

Necessary archaeological and environmental information for this investigation derive from both, primary data (lithic analyses of crucial sites and palaeoclimate results obtained in project A2) and a review of relevant literature. This talk will present an initial attempt to integrate these diverse data into a tentative model for the early Holocene colonisation of the Eastern Sahara.

Date, Time: 30/05/2016, 14:00 h – 14:45 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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Tracing population movement across eastern Africa and Eurasia through lithic technology during the late Pleistocene (End of MIS 6 to MIS 4)

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MaeGoder

Dr. Mae Goder, Max Planck Weizmann Center for Integrative Archaeology and Anthropology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Many archaeologists associate the appearance of Homo sapiens and modern behavior with the Middle Stone Age of Africa. Over the years numerous models have been developed to explain how and why modern humans left Africa and dispersed throughout the world. The majority of these models are based on skeletal and genetic data as well as climatic data, while paradoxically very few incorporate archaeological data.

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