Near East (Including Anatolia): Geographic Description and General Chronology of the Paleolithic and Neolithic

  • Aaron Jonas StutzEmail author
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State of Knowledge and Current Debates


The Near East is situated at the crossroads between the genus Homo’s African evolutionary core and the Eurasian periphery (Fig. 1). The Paleolithic and Neolithic prehistory of the Near East is literally central for understanding the genus Homo as a globally distributed lineage, whose single surviving species – Homo sapiens – continues to shape and be shaped by the terrestrial, omnivorous, extractive, and socially intensive niche with which it has coevolved. This essay examines the general theoretical issue of biocultural evolution in the context of Near Eastern geography, climate, ecology, and Stone Age prehistory. In doing so, it offers an overview of Paleolithic and Neolithic paleoanthropology and archaeology, with basic introductory information about industries, technocomplexes, fossils, and key sites in chronological context.
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Further Reading

  1. Bar-Yosef, O., and F.R. Valla, eds. 2013. Natufian foragers in the Levant: Terminal Pleistocene social changes in Western Asia. Ann Arbor: International Monographs in Prehistory.Google Scholar
  2. Enzel, Y., and O. Bar-Yosef, eds. 2017. Quaternary of the Levant. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyOxford College of Emory UniversityOxfordUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marcel Otte
    • 1
  1. 1.Service of PrehistoryUniversity of LiègeLiègeBelgium