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ARCH 21908: Archaeology of the Ancient Near East : Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN)

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Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN)

This period is also known as the Aceramic Neolithic in western Iran and eastern Iraq, and dates to approximately to 10–6,500 BCE. This period saw the beginning of sedentary village life. People began herding domesticated animals, notably cattle, sheep, goat, and pig, and cultivated grains and legumes, especially wheat, barley, lentil, and chickpea. During this time, we also see the development of sophisticated symbolic behavior, particularly in funerary practices, relationship with the dead, and religious and spiritual beliefs. Much as in the preceding periods, nearly all of these communities are found in the mountainous parts of the Near East. PPN corresponds with wetter and warmer climatic period following the end of the Younger Dryas and it comes to an end during a cold and dry spell around 6,200 BCE.

Key Sites

Çatalhöyük (Turkey)

‘Ein Gazal (Jordan)

Ganj Dareh (Iran)

Göbekli Teppe (Turkey)

Hallan Çemi Tepesi (Turkey)

Jericho (Palestine

Çatalhöyük, Interior of Building 77

20080831_jpq_041

Key Citations

Peters, Joris, and Klaus Schmidt

2004  Animals in the symbolic world of Pre-Pottery Neolithic Göbekli Tepe, south-eastern Turkey: a preliminary assessment. Anthropozoologica 39(1):179–218.

Kuijt, Ian, and Nigel Goring-Morris

2002  Foraging, Farming, and Social Complexity in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of the Southern Levant: A Review and Synthesis. Journal of World Prehistory 16(4):361–440. DOI:10.1023/A:1022973114090.

Peters, Joris, and Klaus Schmidt

2004  Animals in the symbolic world of Pre-Pottery Neolithic Göbekli Tepe, south-eastern Turkey: a preliminary assessment. Anthropozoologica 39(1):179–218.

Peterson, Jane

2010  Domesticating gender: Neolithic patterns from the southern Levant. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 29(3):249–264. DOI:10.1016/j.jaa.2010.03.002.

Riehl, Simone, Mohsen Zeidi, and Nicholas J. Conard

2013  Emergence of Agriculture in the Foothills of the Zagros Mountains of Iran. Science 341(6141):65–67. DOI:10.1126/science.1236743.

Starkovich, Britt M., and Mary C. Stiner

2009  Hallan Çemi Tepesi: High-ranked Game Exploitation alongside Intensive Seed Processing at the Epipaleolithic-Neolithic Transition in Southeastern Turkey. Anthropozoologica 44(1):41–61. DOI:10.5252/az2009n1a2.

Zeder, Melinda A.

2011  The Origins of Agriculture in the Near East. Current Anthropology 52(S4):S221–S235. DOI:10.1086/659307.