The first identifiable house-structures were round, probably consisting of a pit or low wall with a domed roof of branches, hide, or sod. Bricks were used to build platforms, upon which temples were erected. Zarzi cave, north-eastern Iraq - Palaeolithic layers Wadi Natuf - Carmel Caves, Israel - mainly hunting and fishing, but also evidence for harvesting grain with microlith sickles. Some archaeologists describe this as a "defensive" tower, but I have my doubts - it seems to me more like a tower for enacting religious rituals or making proclamations to the city. They did not know how to grow crops and raise livestock, not did they build houses. They used different flint and stone implements which were generally not so well made as those of the preceding PPNB culture. The site was then invaded or infiltrated by another group of people, the Pottery Neolithic B people who made much better pottery vessels than the PNA people, and who eventually started to build rectangular houses of rounded bricks no thumb-prints , and later another wall round the town. Irrigation channels were dug to carry water from the river to cultivated fields - the rainfall in Southern Mesopotamia is not sufficient for growing crops without irrigation.
Some of the animals that were hunted during this period were larger and more powerful than one hunter alone could have killed. Each "house" had a porch with steps or a slope down to the house floor from the higher ground outside - the house floor was at a lower level than the outside. A key to the development of the Neolithic period is the harvesting and cultivation of plants as crops - particularly grain, which could be stored, ground to flour, and cooked. Towards the end of the PPNA period of occupation parts of the town wall collapsed and were not rebuilt. Agriculture was in its early stages - wheat and barley were grown, and donkeys and cattle were kept. The dead were buried under the floors of the caves where the people lived, and they were buried with grave-goods such as necklaces of shell and bone. The PPNB culture was destroyed abruptly. During this period, spearheads were made from chipped stones, with grooves so that they could be fastened to a wooden shaft. Kenyon concluded that food was produced by agriculture varieties of grain with meat supplied by hunting mainly gazelles and foxes rather than from domesticated animals. The dead were buried beneath the floors of the houses. The "shrine" was destroyed by fire; evidently it had had wood beams or branches as part of its construction, because the area was covered by charcoal. Men developed tools and weapons made of "microliths" - small chips and flakes of sharp stone or flint which could be set into a piece of wood or bone to give a cutting implement, or which could be used as arrow points. Hover the mouse over a picture to see its title The names for these periods all derive from the Greek word "lithos" - a stone - and refer to the material used for tools. The Neolithic period is characterized by the development of agriculture, the domestication of animals, settlements or semi-permanent dwellings, and eventually the invention of pottery. From plant and animal remains, Dr. The settlement appears not to have been fortified - there was no evidence for a city wall. Kenyon identified as the floors of hut-like structures, built one on top of another for a considerable length of time, probably by successive generations of nomadic hunter-gatherers who were starting to experiment with agriculture. These early Neolithic houses covered a much larger area of the site than the earlier settlement of huts - evidently the town had began to grow and the population was increasing. Whatever the tower was built for, it is a remarkable structure to have been built by people who did not read or write, who had no metal implements, and who had not yet invented pottery. The next layer of habitation, characterized as PPNB, gave evidence of a completely different culture - houses were rectilinear instead of round, and consisted of several rooms, surrounding a courtyard where cooking was carried out. They did not know how to grow crops and raise livestock, not did they build houses. There is also evidence for obsidian trade, and eventually pottery. The grain may have been cultivated, or the people may have been cutting wild grain. The culture developed pottery dishes with distinctive geometrical patterns of animal figures. There were walled towns and large houses and the earliest known examples of irrigation Tell es-Sawwan - Samarran site with large houses, protected by a defensive wall and a moat. Also, the stone tools were often made by grinding and polishing, rather than by chipping flakes. Ventilation and light in the houses were poor, and it is thought that most of the daily activities took place in the open areas of the rooftops.
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