Near Eastern Lithic Artifact Collection

The Near Eastern Lithic Artifact Collection contains assemblages representing 42 archaeological sites from Jordan and Israel spanning the Lower Paleolithic to the Chalcolithic, of which many have been the subject of study. Additionally, the assemblages have been utilized in the Analysis of Lithic Artifacts class as the source material for term projects.

Lower Paleolithic

            Lower Paleolithic assemblages generally fall under one of four major industries: Pebble Core, Acheulian, Tayacian, and Acheulo-Yabrudian. The site housed in our collection is considered part of the Acheulian industry, characterized by large cutting tools, scrapers, and handaxes.


J401 (Wadi Qalkha), Late Acheulian

Middle Paleolithic

            The Middle Paleolithic in the Levant is characterized by the presence of Levallois prepared core technology as well as prismatic blade cores and retouched flake tools. The sites housed in our collection are all considered as part of the Levantine Mousterian industry, a regional variant of the much larger Mousterian industry/complex.


E22/D15 (Rosh Ein Mor), Early Levantine Mousterian

J8 (Tor Sabiha), Levantine Mousterian

J444, Levantine Mousterian

J430 (Tor Faraj), Late Levantine Mousterian

J433, Transitional with Upper Paleo

Upper Paleolithic

            The Upper Paleolithic represents a departure from Levallois core technology as the major production strategy. Instead, non-Levallois core technologies dominates the period, in particular that of prismatic blade cores. Sites in our collection that date to the Upper Paleolithic largely represent the Early Ahmarian and Levantine Aurignacian industries, with one site representing the transition from the Middle to Upper Paleolithic.


J433, Transitional with Middle Paleo

J432 (Tor Aeid), Early Ahmarian

E22/D34, Early Ahmarian

J412 (Jebel Humeima), Levantine Aurignacian

J403 (Tor Fawaz), Levantine Aurignacian


J431 (Tor Hamar) Layer F, Early Ahmarian


            A distinctive characteristic of assemblages from the Epipaleolithic is the emergence of microliths, both nongeometric and geometric, and an increased emphasis on bladelet production. Additionally, the period is marked by the production of groundstone tools. Our collection includes assemblages spanning the entire period, representing the Hamran, Qalkhan, Madamaghan, and Natufian industries.


 KHIV (Kharaneh IV)

J504 (Jebel Mishraq), Early Hamran

J21, Early Hamran

J22, Early Hamran

J520 (Jebel Muheimi), Early Hamran

J26, Middle Hamran

J31, Middle Hamran

J201 (Jebel Hamra) Layers A-B, Middle Hamran

J203 (El Quweira), Middle to Late/Final Hamran

J202 (Qa Salab) Layers A-C, Late/Final Hamran

J406 (Wadi Humeima) Layer B, Qalkhan

J405, Qalkhan

J407, Qalkhan

J431 (Tor Hamar) A-E, Madamaghan

Hayonim Terrace

J2 (Wadi Judayid), Early Natufian

J406 (Wadi Humeima) Layer A, Late Natufian

E22/D16 (Rosh Zin), Late Natufian

Early Neolithic

            Much of the technology from the Epipaleolithic can be seen in assemblages dating to the Early Neolithic. Greater emphasis is placed on bladelet production than on microliths, and there is an increase in the production and spread of groundstone tools. Our collection contains assemblages from both the PPNA (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A) and MPPNB (Mid Pre-Pottery Neolithic B).


J24 (Jebel Queisa) Layer C, PPNA

AAN (Ayn Abu Nukheila), MPPNB

Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic

            The Late Neolithic period is distinctive for the emergence of ceramics and an emphasis on flake-based lithic technologies grouped by function. More specifically, lithic technologies are small flake based and rely on bladelet and microlith production. The Chalcolithic period represents a transitional period between the Late Neolithic and the Bronze Age, characterized by much of the same in regard to lithic technology as in the Late Neolithic.  Our collection contains a number of sites that fall under the Timnian industry, characterized by retouched tools and scrapers as well as bifacial points and transverse arrowheads.


J24 (Jebel Queisa) Layers A & B, Timnian

J11, Timnian

J14 (Jebel el Jill), Timnian

J521, Timnian

Additional Assemblages in the Near Eastern Lithic Artifact Collection