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Ochre and hide-working at a Natufian burial place

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Laure Dubreuil
TUARC, Anthropology Department, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough ON K9J 7B8, Canada
Leore Grosman
Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel; and Computerized Archaeology, Physics of Complex Systems, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel


Particular stones found on Epi-Palaeolithic sites in the Levant are thought to be for grinding vegetable matter and to be essential instruments in the development of food processing. Finding an assemblage of these tools in a burial cave, the authors ask a harder question: could they have been used for processing hides with ochre? Use-wear analysis allows a positive verdict, and so the tools take their place in the ritual apparatus associated with burial.

Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd 2009

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