Obsidian consumption at Qdeir 1, a Final Pre-Pottery Neolithic site in Syria: An integrated characterisation study

Marie ORANGE, Tristan CARTER & François-Xavier LE BOURDONNEC

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 18 (2) - Pages 268-282

Published on 31 March 2019

This paper details an integrated characterisation study of a substantial assemblage of obsidian artefacts (n = 519) from the Syrian Neolithic site of Qdeir 1 (El Kowm oasis). The results of the chemical characterisation (using ED-XRF and SEM–EDS) have been coupled with the typo-technological data. Such an approach has allowed us (i) to identify four raw materials in the assemblage, namely Bingöl A and Bingöl B from eastern Anatolia, plus Göllü Dağ and Nenezi Dağ from central Anatolia, (ii) to specifically source the distinctive green peralkaline obsidian to Bingöl A (rather than ‘Bingöl A and/or Nemrut Dağ’), (iii) to observe that these four raw materials were consumed in a nigh-identical manner, probably worked locally by specialist craftspeople to produce fine pressure flaked blades, and (iv) to hypothesise that the people of Qdeir 1 may have played a key redistributive role in the circulation of obsidian tools, likely supplying the neighbouring village of El Kowm.


Obsidian, Geochemical characterisation, Lithic study, Syria, Neolithic, ED-XRF, SEM–EDS

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