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01-Nov-2017 05:19

Large middens (organic rubbish dumps) are known at Natufian sites, located where they were created (rather than recycled and placed in secondary refuse pits).

Dealing with refuse is one defining characteristics of the descendants of the Natufians, the Pre-Pottery Neolithic.

They buried their dead in cemeteries, with grave goods including stone bowls and dentalium shell.

Some Natufian groups were seasonally mobile, while some sites show evidence of multiple-season occupation, along with long-term reoccupation, long-distance travel, and exchange.

Natufian ground stone tools are notable, reflecting intensive production and high quality finishing (e.g., Wright 1991; 1994; Rosenberg et al.

2012; Rosenberg & Nadel 2014); when found in burial context they appear to reflect upon their particular importance in both mundane and spiritual life.

Bedrock features, as a component of the ground stone industry, are a hallmark of the Natufian in the southern Levant and beyond (Nadel & Lengyel 2009; Nadel & Rosenberg 2010; 2011).

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The Natufians foraged for food such as emmer wheat, barley and almonds, and hunted gazelle, deer, cattle, horse, and wild boar.

Artifacts found at Natufian sites include grinding stones, which were used to process seeds, dried meats, and fish for planned meals and to process ochre for likely ritual practices.

Flint and bone tools, and dentalium shell ornaments are also part of Natufian cultural material.

Some fairly rare evidence suggests that that the Natufian people may have cultivated barley and wheat.

The line between horticulture (tending wild stands of crops) and agriculture (planting new specific stands) is a fuzzy one and difficult to discern in the archaeological record.The direct descendants of the Natufian (known as the pre-pottery Neolithic or PPN) were among the earliest farmers on the planet.