Architectural Transitions in the Pottery Neolithic
The archaeological assemblages of the Levantine Neolithic changed dramatically from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic to the Pottery Neolithic. The Pre-Pottery Neolithic inhabitants produced well-planned, well-built, well-maintained architecture on a consistent basis, both within sites and across the region. In contrast, the architecture at Pottery Neolithic settlements exhibited a variety of forms ranging from pit dwellings, to round, rectangular, and apsidal buildings, to courtyard buildings, to no architecture at all. The end of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic coincided with a global climatic event, the 8.2 ka cold event, a 300-400 year dip in global temperatures, accompanied by increased aridity. The drop in temperature likely changed the environmental conditions in the Levant, affecting the economic systems of the inhabitants. Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic inhabitants no longer relied on hunting for their primary meat source, as domesticated goat quickly became the dominant faunal assemblage at late Pre-Pottery Neolithic sites. This thesis argues that the lack of cohesion observed in the Pottery Neolithic archaeological assemblages is a reflection of the different responses and adaptive strategies used by different settlements to cope with the change in environmental conditions.
Levant, Neolithic, architecture, 8.2 ka
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Archaeology and Anthropology