Having possibly been induced by the younger dryas. Begin a new stage called the pre-pottery neolithic. The domestication of plants and animals had progressed into its formative stages. Succeeding natufian culture of the epipalaeolithic near east.
In the Levant and near east, pre-pottery neolithic is the name given to the people who domesticated the earliest plants and lived in farming communities. Except for pottery. They include most attributes of the neolithic age.
In the 1920s Kathleen Kenyon used the name to describe excevations at Jericho
And, unlike the pottery stages. Thousands of years later. It did not include the large human figures, such as Ain Ghazal, Jericho, Beisomoun, Kfar HaHoresh and others.
Pre-pottery neolithic A (PPNA) denotes the first stage of the pre-pottery neolithic, in early Levantine and Anatolian neolithic culture. Around 10,000–8800 BC
Archaeological remains are located in the Levantine and upper Mesopotamian region of the Fertile Crescent. This time period is characterized by tiny circular mud- brick dwellings, the cultivation of crops, the hunting of wild game. It also included the unique burial customs in which bodies were buried below the floors of dwellings. One of the most notable PPNA settlements is Jericho, thought to be the world’s first town. In 9,000 BC. The PPNA town contained a population of up to 2 to 3000. And, it was protected by a massive stone wall and tower.
Did you know? There is much debate over the function of the wall, for there is no evidence of any serious warfare at this time. A couple purposals for its usefullness had been attributed to protecting salt resources. And, that the tower would have caught the shadow of the largest nearby mountain on summer solist. Thus by, creating a sense of power.
Pre-pottery neolithic B (PPNB) followed
During this time, clay pottery was still not yet in use. And, most of the formative plates, containers and sculptures were still carved or used from stone and basketry. PPNB differed from PPNA in showing greater use of domesticated animals, a different set of tools, and new architectural styles. Like rectangular buildings.
During these periods, communal strutures were first built. Such as Jericho. Many had stone foundations and terrazzo-floors. The upper walls were constructed of unbaked clay mud bricks with plano-convex cross-sections. Hearths were small and covered with cobbles. Heated rocks were used in cooking. And, almost every settlement contained storage bins made of either stones or mud-brick. It marks the shift from nomadic or semi-nomadic way of life, to a more settled, village-based lifestyle. The establishment of permanent settlements was made possible by the practice of agriculture.
Construction characteristics included: monumental architecture and large buildings for use as gathering spaces and allied people
Large structures, including monuments all had a start in the PPN. It included sites like Nevali Çori and Hallan Çemi. As well, Göbekli Tepe, and sites in Turkey. Believed to be for the community, and ritual gathering purposes.
Architecture was designed for good storage and to prevent pests
Extended period storage was made possible by the use of supended floors. For air circulation, and protection from rodents. This practice precedes the emergence of domestication of animals and large scale sedentary communities.
Crop cultivation allowed them to build granaries
Sedentism allowed for grain cultivation. Such as barley and wild oats, and thus storage begin in local granaries. Granaries allowed for year round occupations. Early on, around 9500 BC, they begin positions in places like between other buildings. In 8,500 BC, they were moved inside houses. By around 7,500 BC storage occurred in special rooms. It may reflect private property and ownership systems changing from communal, to that of the household or individual.
Crops domesticated during the PPN include the founder crops
Cereals (einkorn and emmer wheat and barley). Pulses (lentil, pea, bitter vetch, and chickpea), and a fiber crop (flax). Had been found from this era. At sites such as: Abu Hureyra, Cafer Huyuk, Cayönü, and Nevali Çori. Also, sites of Gilgal and Netiv Hagdud have produced evidence supporting domestication of fig trees. And, by PPNB the domestication of sheep, goats, and cattle was included.
PPN cultures are known for there unique burial practices. Many bodies were found burried under floors, foundations, and in between walls. In the PPNB period, skulls were often dug up and reburied, or mottled with clay and (presumably) displayed.
The lithic industry became known
Based on blades struck from regular cores. And a continuation from the Natufian culture. Sickle-blades, cutting tools and arrowheads were traded and sold. Transverse-blow axes and polished adzes also appear during these time periods, for the first time.
The pre-pottery neolithic culture came to an end around the time of the 8.2-kiloyear event. A cool spell centred on 6200 BC that lasted several hundred years. It is succeeded by the pottery neolithic.
Pre-pottery neolithic A is part of a broader period known as the neolithic. Characterized by the development of agriculture and the shift from a nomadic to a settled way of life. It is followed by pre-pottery neolithic B (PPNB), which is distinguished by the appearance of domesticated animals and further advancements in technology and society. These archaeological periods are essential for understanding the transition from ancient human societies based on foraging and hunting to those characterized by agriculture and settled living, which laid the foundation for more complex civilizations in Mesopotamia and surrounding regions.
Mithen, Steven (2006). After the ice: a global human history, 20,000–5,000 BC (1st ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-674-01999-7.
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