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Neolithic Palestinian Tahunian

Selected Excerpt on the Tahunian Period

Arrowheads of the Neolithic Levant (1994)
Avi Gopher (1994) LC# GN 776.32 N4 G66
American Schools of Oriental Research
Dissertation Series Volume 10

Pre-History and Archaeology Glossary

Excerpts and Definitions and Addendums:

Comment: In Chapter 2 Avi Gopher provides a very useful discussion of the history of Neolithic research in the Levant and divides the period into four chronological stages. The first was an exploratory stage commencing with the 1928 definition of Buzy of the fuzzy concept of "Tahunian". Gopher does an admirable job of showing the complexity that arose with this term ...
[BASOR Book Review]

In 1928 D Buzy defined the Tahunian on the basis of collections from a number of sites in Wadi Tahunia near Bethlehem in ...

Une Industrie Mesolithique en Palestine
Revue Biblique Volume 37 (Pages 558 -78)

[The collections or tool assemblages were from] mostly surface sites and in different states of preservation. It is clear even from their preliminary descriptions that some were mixed [chronologically speaking] and contained earlier elements such as microlithis and later elements such as pottery.

The Tahunian was defined [then] as a Mesolithic Culture [See The Mesolithic of the Levant] on the basis of the tool assemblage which chiefly contained (1)bifacial tools such as picks and axes with working edges shaped by transversal blows - (2)flint knives - (3)endscrapers - (4)many arrowheads of various types [*] - (5)finely denticulated sickle blades - (6)stone tools for pounding and grinding (mainly mortars and cupmarks). Buzy avoided calling these asseblages Neolithic because the definition then currently in use required the appearance of (1)polished bifacial tools or sawlike blades - (2)"advanced" (leaf-shaped) arrowheads - (3)large grinding stones - to qualify as Neolithic. Nevertheless Buzy stated that morphologically the flint assemblages of the Neolithic and Mesolithic were of the same "family" and that the Tahunian represented a final stage in the Mesolithic - that is a Proto-Neolithic stage that developed "naturally" without any gaps or signs of violence into the Neolithic. Apparently only formal considerations concerning then-contemporary definitions of cultures prevented Buzy from asserting that the Tahunian was a Neolithic Culture.

The chaos surrounding the term Tahunian and its stratigraphic placement still remains. [In essence it seems to the editor that this term is no longer in use and only has any real meaning in attempting to explain the evolution of the chronology of the Levantine Neolithic and its stratigraphy - especially the PPNB] .....

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The Archaeology of Palestine from the Neolithic Through the Middle Bronze Age (1971)
Journal of the American Oriental Society -- Volume 91:2:276-293

Excerpts and Definitions and Addendums:

The Tahunian is evident only in Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) during the last part of the eighth millennium and also in the seventh millennium [Chronological Table] in the area of the lower Negev Desert in Israel and the TransJordan Desert. In the Tahunian Period the data indicates that the harvesting or collecting of grain must have been kept at a minimum for we find no grinding stones or sickle blades or the any evidence for the use of this food source. All the evidence points to hunting camps which are quite small ...

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium