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Natufian bedrock mortars at Qarassa 3: Preliminary results from an interdisciplinary methodology

AuthorsTerradas-Batlle, Xavier CSIC ORCID ; Ibáñez-Estévez, Juan José ; Braemer, Frank; Hardy, Karen; Iriarte, Eneko CSIC ORCID; Madella, Marco CSIC ORCID; Ortega i Cobos, David CSIC; Radini, Anita; Teira, Luis
Southern Syria
Qarassa 3
Bedrock mortars
Food processing
Microbotanical remains
Use-wear analysis
Issue Date2013
PublisherUniversidad Autónoma de Barcelona
CitationStone Tools in Transition: From Hunter-Gatherers to Farming Societies in the Near East (7th Conference on PPN Chipped and Ground Stone Industries of the Fertile Crescent) : 449-464 (2013)
AbstractQarassa 3 (Sweida, Southern Syria) is an open air site that has yielded a series of archaeological evidences attributed to the Natufian period. The remains are located on a basalt hill and the surrounding lowland, in an area adjacent to an ancient lake. The archaeological finds are organized around 12 circular structures located at the top of the volcanic hill. At present, 83 bedrock mortars have been identified, both at the top of the basalt hills and in the adjacent lowlands, where they are associated with other archaeological evidence attributed to the Natufian. The 83 bedrock mortars identified so far have been recorded in a database with fields containing information about their precise location, morphology and fill. Five of these mortars have been excavated, samples have been taken for starch and phytolith analysis, and all the remaining sediment has passed through flotation. A silicone cast was made of one mortar wall for close examination of use-wear traces. In this paper, the first data on the morphology, distribution, use-wear and content analysis of these bedrock mortars are presented.
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