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Interaction before Agriculture: Exchanging Material and Sharing Knowledge in the Final Pleistocene Levant

  • Tobias Richter (a1), Andrew N. Garrard (a2), Samantha Allock (a3) and Lisa A. Maher (a4)

Abstract

This article discusses social interaction in the Epipalaeolithic of southwest Asia. Discussions of contact, social relationships and social organization have primarily focused on the Pre-Pottery Neolithic and are often considered to represent typical hallmarks of emergent farming societies. The hunter-gatherers of the final Pleistocene, in particular those of the Early and Middle Epipalaeolithic, have more rarely been the focus of such discussions. In this article we consider evidence for interaction from the Azraq Basin of eastern Jordan, to question the uniqueness of the Neolithic evidence for interaction. We argue that interaction between differently-constituted groups can be traced within the Early Epipalaeolithic of the southern Levant, suggesting that it is of far greater antiquity than previously considered.

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