Preliminary analysis of the Late Natufian ground stone from Shubayqa 1, Jordan
Journal of Lithic Studies
Shubayqa 1 is a newly identified early and late Natufian site in the harra desert of northeastern Jordan. In addition to buildings, and rich chipped stone, faunal, and botanical assemblages, the site has produced a large collection of ground stone tools. This paper presents the result of a preliminary study of the ground stone artefacts associated with the late Natufian phase. Results indicate that while the assemblage is overall very similar to other Natufian sites in the Mediterranean zone,
... diterranean zone, there are also some notable differences. Although grinding rather than pounding tools appear to be more important at the site, many tools were seemingly involved in both grinding and pounding activities. We hypothesize that this dual function could be explained by the processing of rhizome tubers, which were found in abundance at the site, and which may have represented an important food source for the inhabitants. In addition, we argue that the relationship between ground stone tools and cereal processing has been overemphasized and the processing of other plant food resources, in this case tubers could have been equally significant. While the processing of plant foods was one function, many tools are also associated with pigment stains, suggesting that they were involved in the processing of non-vegetal matter.