Patrick Nørskov Pedersen

Patrick Nørskov Pedersen

PhD fellow

Ground Stone and Changing Foodways during the Natufian-Early Neolithic in Eastern Jordan

My PhD-project is part of the research project “Changing Foodways in Prehistoric Southwest Asia” at Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies funded by the Independent Research Council of Denmark (FKK).

Our project examines how humans changed their ways of procuring, processing, cooking and eating food when we went from being mobile hunter-gatherers to sedentary agriculturalists. My part of this project aims to elucidate the use of ground stone tools, such as querns and mortars in processing plant and animal matter for consumption. These types of tools were generally used for pulverizing matter into, for instance flour, and predate our shift to an agricultural lifestyle. Tools from two sites are being examined, one site belonging to the Natufian culture and one from the Early Neolithic, both located in the Qa’ Shubayqa of Eastern Jordan. The Natufians are thought to be some of the last hunter-gatherers in Southwest Asia and this data will provide us with a unique insight into how food processing strategies changed at the dawn of the Neolithic. By conducting residue and use-wear analysis of these tools, I aim to determine what the used surfaces of these tools were in contact with. These methods will be combined with studies of movements and tool morphology, along with experiments and will help us determine how the tools were involved in food production during the transition from hunter-gatherers to agriculturalists.

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