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date: 20 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

A mosaic of habitats ecologically characterizes western Asia. These were formed and changed due to topographic variability as well as seasonal fluctuations of temperatures and precipitation. Thus, resources of various kinds were diverse across different landscapes, whether coastal plains, intermountain valleys, mountain areas and semi-arid subregions. The proliferation of animal bone assemblages and the paucity of plant remains due to poor preservation conditions in most excavated and reported sites, except for the case of Ohalo II, a waterlogged site, distorts the reconstruction of daily diets of hunter-gatherers during the Upper Palaeolithic in western Asia. The presence of mortars and pestles in contexts since c.30,000 years ago indicates the emergence of food preparation techniques that become dominant during the Terminal Pleistocene. During these millennia the archaeological data sets reflect the appearance of sedentary communities as well as cultural markers that indicate the more clearly established tribal territories.

Keywords: western Asia, Upper Palaeolithic, hunter-gatherers, habitats

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