The 1997 Season at Ba'ja, Southern Jordan

Hans Georg K. Gebel, Free University of Berlin
Hans-Dieter Bienert, German Protestant Institute of Archaeology, Dept. Amman


Ground, Chipped Stone and Bone Industries

The typical ground and chipped stone industries of the LPPNB large settlements are well represented in Ba'ja. However, compared with Basta, the tool classes and the stone vessels so far show a less varied inventory.

The primary production of the flint industry does not contain true naviform cores and their typical preparation waste. Instead we have bi-directional cores that recall the intention of the naviform technology, the efficient material- and effort-saving detachment of blades. However, they often show round striking platforms with detachments all around the core's edges. These cores were reduced to the utmost, and blades in Ba'ja on average are shorter than those from the workshop areas in Basta. A contributing factor might be the fact that the tabular flint exploited by the Basta workshops rarely is attested in Ba'ja, and that most of cores have the grayish flint from the wadi pebbles as raw material. Workshops have not been found yet in Ba'ja, as cores are quite rare, too. Aside from the non-naviform bidirectional cores at Ba'ja, there are also unidirectional blade cores in addition to many flake cores.

The tool kit seems somewhat restricted to (also denticulated) arrowheads, borers, adzes, Celts, and hammerstones. The latter three classes are quite dominant. Retouched and ad hoc-tools are rare. As a preliminary observation, we would interpret the tool kit as representing activities on household levels rather than on an "industrial" surplus scale. Tools used for chiseling1 carving out the sandstone rings have not been identified yet among the chipped lithic implements.
The grinding tools and stone vessel fragments fall within the LPPNB range of types (Wright in: Gebel et al. 1997), which is true for the worked bone industry, too (almost exclusively piercers and spatulae).

The 1997 Season at Ba'ja, Southern Jordan
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