Beyond the Jordan
Multiformities of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Recent excavations in Jordan have demonstrated a long sequence of development from the late Pleistocene Epipalaeolithic through the early Holocene Pre-Pottery Neolithic. Superficially, the growing body of social and subsistence evidence suggests Neolithic communities emerged from traditions rooted in the early Epipalaeolithic. However, while developments such as the construction of shelters, population aggregation, and subsistence intensification may be essential for the emergence of a Southwest Asian Neolithic, they are typical of contemporary hunter-gatherer societies and not inherently Neolithic. Notably, the Neolithic in Southwest Asia was not a homogenous entity, but instead supported diverse expressions of subsistence, symbolic behaviours, and cultural trajectories across the region. To understand the emergence and development of the Neolithic, we need to examine this richly diverse history and its many constituent pathways.
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