What is it about?

While people of the early Neolithic (PPNA) had begun to cultivate some plant foods and live in sites with substantial architecture, they also relied on hunting. Nachcharini Cave, the only excavated early Neolithic site in the high mountains of northeastern Lebanon, provides evidence for "logistical" organization — use of overnight campsites for special purposes when people, in this case hunters, had to be away from their villages. We present analyses of animal remains, stone tools and radiocarbon dates from Nachcharini Cave that show that the users of this cave were hunting mainly mountain sheep when they periodically used the cave for about two centuries during the early Neolithic.

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Why is it important?

Although the site was excavated a long time ago, this is the first site to show this logistical aspect of early Neolithic site use and the first to show exploitation of these high mountains to acquire sheep. We also provide the first radiocarbon dates for the site.

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This page is a summary of: Mugharat an-Nachcharini: A specialized sheep-hunting camp reveals high-altitude habitats in the earliest Neolithic of the Central Levant, PLoS ONE, January 2020, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227276.
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