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The color of transformation: Investigations into heat treatment of Natufian artifacts from Hayonim Terrace (Israel)

  • Author(s): Sunseri, JU;
  • Delage, C
  • et al.

In the Natufian lithic component at Hayonim, both in the cave and the terrace, numerous artifacts of pink/red color may be recognized. Cherts with similar appearance are not present in the geological environment surrounding the site in Northern Israel. Pink chert available in Jordan is shown to be of different nature. Thus this leaves us with the hypothesis of intentional heat treatment of locally available iron-rich yellow chert, of Cenomanian age. Based on experimental replication of chert firing and SEM analysis, we argue that a well-mastered and controlled use of fire was practiced by some skilled craftsmen at Hayonim throughtout the Late Epipalaeolithic.

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