The Laboratory of Lithic Artifacts from the Near East contains a wide range of lithic assemblages from Jordan, Israel, and North America. The Near Eastern assemblages span from the Lower Paleolithic to the Chalcolithic. For further information on the assemblages please clink on the links below.
Collections are available for teaching tools for courses at the University of Tulsa. Researchers from outside the university are welcome to study any assemblages in the collection. Please contact Dr. Macdonald to arrange access.
Near Eastern Lithic Artifact Collection
The Near Eastern Lithic Artifact Collection contains assemblages representing 42 archaeological sites from Jordan and Israel spanning the Lower Paleolithic to the Chalcolithic, of which many have been the subject of study. Additionally, the assemblages have been utilized in the Analysis of Lithic Artifacts class as the source material for term projects.
Lower Paleolithic assemblages generally fall under one of four major industries: Pebble Core, Acheulian, Tayacian, and Acheulo-Yabrudian. The site housed in our collection is considered part of the Acheulian industry, characterized by large cutting tools, scrapers, and handaxes.
J401 (Wadi Qalkha), Late Acheulian
The Middle Paleolithic in the Levant is characterized by the presence of Levallois prepared core technology as well as prismatic blade cores and retouched flake tools. The sites housed in our collection are all considered as part of the Levantine Mousterian industry, a regional variant of the much larger Mousterian industry/complex.
E22/D15 (Rosh Ein Mor), Early Levantine Mousterian
J8 (Tor Sabiha), Levantine Mousterian
J444, Levantine Mousterian
J430 (Tor Faraj), Late Levantine Mousterian
J433, Transitional with Upper Paleo
The Upper Paleolithic represents a departure from Levallois core technology as the major production strategy. Instead, non-Levallois core technologies dominates the period, in particular that of prismatic blade cores. Sites in our collection that date to the Upper Paleolithic largely represent the Early Ahmarian and Levantine Aurignacian industries, with one site representing the transition from the Middle to Upper Paleolithic.
J433, Transitional with Middle Paleo
J432 (Tor Aeid), Early Ahmarian
E22/D34, Early Ahmarian
J412 (Jebel Humeima), Levantine Aurignacian
J403 (Tor Fawaz), Levantine Aurignacian
J431 (Tor Hamar) Layer F, Early Ahmarian
A distinctive characteristic of assemblages from the Epipaleolithic is the emergence of microliths, both nongeometric and geometric, and an increased emphasis on bladelet production. Additionally, the period is marked by the production of groundstone tools. Our collection includes assemblages spanning the entire period, representing the Hamran, Qalkhan, Madamaghan, and Natufian industries.
KHIV (Kharaneh IV)
J504 (Jebel Mishraq), Early Hamran
J21, Early Hamran
J22, Early Hamran
J520 (Jebel Muheimi), Early Hamran
J26, Middle Hamran
J31, Middle Hamran
J201 (Jebel Hamra) Layers A-B, Middle Hamran
J203 (El Quweira), Middle to Late/Final Hamran
J202 (Qa Salab) Layers A-C, Late/Final Hamran
J406 (Wadi Humeima) Layer B, Qalkhan
J431 (Tor Hamar) A-E, Madamaghan
J2 (Wadi Judayid), Early Natufian
J406 (Wadi Humeima) Layer A, Late Natufian
E22/D16 (Rosh Zin), Late Natufian
Much of the technology from the Epipaleolithic can be seen in assemblages dating to the Early Neolithic. Greater emphasis is placed on bladelet production than on microliths, and there is an increase in the production and spread of groundstone tools. Our collection contains assemblages from both the PPNA (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A) and MPPNB (Mid Pre-Pottery Neolithic B).
J24 (Jebel Queisa) Layer C, PPNA
AAN (Ayn Abu Nukheila), MPPNB
Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic
The Late Neolithic period is distinctive for the emergence of ceramics and an emphasis on flake-based lithic technologies grouped by function. More specifically, lithic technologies are small flake based and rely on bladelet and microlith production. The Chalcolithic period represents a transitional period between the Late Neolithic and the Bronze Age, characterized by much of the same in regard to lithic technology as in the Late Neolithic. Our collection contains a number of sites that fall under the Timnian industry, characterized by retouched tools and scrapers as well as bifacial points and transverse arrowheads.
J24 (Jebel Queisa) Layers A & B, Timnian
J14 (Jebel el Jill), Timnian
Additional Assemblages in the Near Eastern Lithic Artifact Collection
Also housed in the Laboratory of Lithic Artifacts from the Near East is the Teaching Collection.
Composed of both Old World and New World artifacts, the collection is utilized in the instruction of undergraduate students in various anthropology classes. Additionally, the Teaching Collection is used at the graduate level as part of the Analysis of Lithic Artifacts class. Currently, the Teaching Collection is in the process of being re-organized and catalogued. This is in part an effort to better understand the full span of the collection, but also a means of ensuring the utility of the collection for future classes in anthropology.
Old World Artifacts
The Teaching Collection contains a fair number of artifacts from the Old World, derived primarily from sites currently a part of the Near Eastern Lithic Artifact Collection.
- A comparative tray representing the evolution of stone tool technologies from Modes I to V.
- Specimens from Kharaneh IV, no context
- Various projectile points and stone tools, currently uncategorized
- Specimens from Gharandal, no context
New World Artifacts
At the moment, the following projectile point types have been identified within the North American drawers; however, this by no means represents a comprehensive list–only the points that have been tersely identified.
- Fort Ancient
- Agate Basin
- Nebo Hill
- Big Creek
There remain a large number of unknown projectile points and other lithic items (likely knives, choppers, and axe heads) in the North American drawers in the Teaching collection.
Provenience is a distinct issue with these artifacts as they are the product of multiple donations over many years by individuals; as such, at this time not much more than a type and the basest of material type (chert, quartz, etc.) is able to be determined.
Other Drawers in the Teaching Collection contain the following items:
- Oklahoma Chert Varieties
- North American Raw Material Examples
- Replica Points
- Examples of Quartz Projectile Points
- Bone Tools
- River Cobbles