The meaning of projectile points in the Late Neolithic of the Northern Levant

A case study from the settlement of Shir, Syria

  • Laura Dietrich German Archaeological Institute, Berlin, Germany
  • Dörte Rokitta-Krumnow German Archaeological Institute, Berlin, Germany
  • Oliver Dietrich German Archaeological Institute, Berlin, Germany
Keywords: Neolithic, Near East, projectile points, Shir, warfare

Abstract

Our contribution explores the possibilities of inferring the functions of Late Neolithic projectile points from the settlement of Shir, Syria. Use-wear and metrical values are applied to differentiate between arrowheads, darts and thrusting spears, followed by a discussion of hints for use for hunting or as weapons for interpersonal conflict. Weapons get larger and more visible exactly in the moment when hunting declines as a basis for subsistence. This economical transformation would have produced considerable change for individuals who previously defined themselves as hunters. The social practice of hunting may (at least partially) have been substituted by prowess in interpersonal conflict.

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Published
2019-12-09
How to Cite
DietrichL., Rokitta-KrumnowD., & DietrichO. (2019). The meaning of projectile points in the Late Neolithic of the Northern Levant. Documenta Praehistorica, 46, 340-350. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.46.21
Section
Articles