Programmes > Par auteur > Daniel Kaufmann

The transition from foraging to farming systems in southern Levant - the contribution of carbon isotopes analyses and archaeobontany to understand the role of climate.
Valentina Caracuta  1, *@  , Mina Weinstein-Evron  2@  , Reuven Yeshurun  2@  , Kaufmann Daniel  3@  , Elisabetta Boaretto  4@  
1 : Laboratory of Archaeobotany and Palaeoecology. University of Salento  -  Site web
Via Birago 64, 73100, Lecce -  Italie
2 : University of Haifa [Haifa]  (HAI)  -  Site web
199 Aba Khoushy Ave.Mount Carmel, Haifa -  Israël
3 : University of Haifa  -  Site web
4 : Kimmel Center for Archaeological Research, Weizmann Istitute
* : Auteur correspondant

The end of Pleistocene was a critical period in the history of humankind, with a system of subsistence that shifted from hunting and gathering wild resources to farming and herding domesticated stocks, but it was also a period of significant climatic changes. With the end of the Last Glacial period, around 23,000-20,000 years BP, the vegetal cover started to change to adapt to the new environmental conditions and, even though the changes affected different areas in different ways, there were variations in the type of plants and animals available to the primitive hunter-gatherers. In some areas, such as Southern Levant, the natural adjustments were associated to cultural and social mutations that reshaped the traditional ways of subsistence into new forms, paving the way to farming and adoption of a sedentary lifestyle.

Evidence of such epic transformation is visible in many Epipalaeolithic sites in the area of the Mt. Carmel and around it, where archaeological excavations reveal some of the earliest evidence of these processes. Investigating the subsistence of the Natufian communities through the study of the plant assemblage found in the earlier dwellers site of el-Wad has offered a unique opportunity to understand the processes that led to the onset of agriculture.

The combined study of seeds, charcoals and stable Carbon isotopes and radiocarbon dating applied to material coming from el-Wad allowed us to shed new light on ecological conditions that favored the spread of forms of pre-agriculture among the Early Natufian communities.


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