The data for this paper are taken from a larger manuscript study (Dyson, ms.) aimed at the collation of the specific evidence available at the present time on the first occurrences of the major traits of material culture in each sub-area of the Near East for the period from 5000 to 2500 B.C. Such a survey has not previously existed and it provides a solid reference work for checking on the exact locations of key items in the fields of agriculture, husbandry, textiles, metallurgy, transportation, and so on.
In making a survey of this nature the problem of chronology is paramount, for it is upon this basis that priority in discovery must be accredited to any one area, and that directions of diffusion must be determined. In this region, as in other parts of the world, the correlation of cultural events with Christian chronology has yet to be satisfactorily completed. We cannot, therefore, deal with any degree of accuracy in terms of particular years. The presence of stratigraphic deposits, however, does allow us to deal with periods of relative cultural time.