What is it about?

This study presents new data on Late Neolithic (LN) sickle elements from two farmsteads (Tabaqat al-Bûma and al-Basatîn) in Wadi Ziqlab, northern Jordan. We also present a novel Harris-matrix approach to analysing refits of lithics to understand the technology of the blanks used to make sickle blades. The analyses indicate that sickle elements were more standardized than other tool types or their blanks but their shapes were not predetermined during blank production but depended on the same wide variety of blank forms as other tool types, such as scrapers. Production of sickle elements involved creating standardized rectangular shapes through selection, rather than predetermination, of suitable blank forms and high degrees of retouch. This practice was probably related to the requirements of aligning sickle elements neatly in sickle hafts and making it easy to replace damaged elements.

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Why is it important?

The study demonstrates a novel approach to documenting the sequence of flake removals with Harris matrices, using the same methods and software originally developed for stratigraphic analysis. It is also a good example of how highly standardized tool elements can be made even from blanks made in a somewhat expedient technology.

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This page is a summary of: Morphometric and refitting analyses of flaked stone artifacts from Tabaqat al-Bûma and al-Basatîn, northern Jordan: Sickle elements and core-reduction technology in the Late Neolithic (6th millennium BCE) in the southern Levant, Journal of Archaeological Science Reports, June 2018, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.02.014.
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