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Stone bead technologies and early craft specialization: Insights from two neolithic sites in eastern Jordan

Wright, KI; Critchley, P; Garrard, A; Baird, D; Bains, R; Groom, S; (2008) Stone bead technologies and early craft specialization: Insights from two neolithic sites in eastern Jordan. Levant , 40 (2) pp. 131-165. 10.1179/175638008X348016.

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Abstract

What social groups were involved in Neolithic craft production? What was the nature of early forms of craft specialization, long before urban economies evolved? One way to look at this is to investigate manufacture of Neolithic prestige goods. Seasonal camps in Wadi Jilat (eastern Jordan) revealed unusually detailed evidence for manufacture of stone beads: debris, blanks, finished beads, and tools for drilling, sawing and abrasion. The material is 'Dabba Marble', a metamorphic rock of which the major source is nearby. This article describes lapidary technology at Jilat 13 and Jilat 25, equivalent in age to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic C (PPNC). Mineral-chemical characterization data on Dabba Marble are presented. These sites raise issues about early craft specialization. These beadmakers seem to have been master craftsmen/women. We suggest that these sites illustrate a particular form of 'site specialization', namely sites located in remote territories and focused on special materials and intensive production of prestige goods. However, these craft activities were also embedded in hunting, herding and, perhaps, ritual, as suggested by figurines and pillars. © 2008 Maney Publishing.

Type: Article
Title: Stone bead technologies and early craft specialization: Insights from two neolithic sites in eastern Jordan
DOI: 10.1179/175638008X348016
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/47901
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