Natufian culture

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before Homo (Pliocene)

Paleolithic

Mesolithic

Neolithic

The Natufian culture (pronounced /nəˈtjuːfiən/) was a Mesolithic culture that existed in the Levant, a region in the Eastern Mediterranean. It was unusual in that it was sedentary, or semi-sedentary, before the introduction of agriculture. The Natufian communities are possibly the ancestors of the builders of the first Neolithic settlements of the region, which may have been the earliest in the world. There is some evidence for the deliberate cultivation of cereals, specifically rye, by the Natufian culture, at the Tell Abu Hureyra site, the site for earliest evidence of agriculture in the world.[1] Generally, though, Natufians made use of wild cereals. Animals hunted include gazelles.[2]

The term "Natufian" was coined by Dorothy Garrod who studied the Shuqba cave in Wadi an-Natuf, Israel, about halfway between Tel Aviv and Ramallah.

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