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The old Orient
The city gate of Nimrud
Timeline based on calibrated C 14 data
Epipalaeolithic 12000-9500 BC Chr.
Pre-ceramic Neolithic 9500-6400 BC Chr.
PPNA 9500-8800 BC Chr.
PPNB 8800-7000 BC Chr.
PPNC 7000-6400 BC Chr.
Ceramic Neolithic 6400-5800 BC Chr.
Umm Dabaghiyah culture 6000-5800 BC Chr.
Hassuna culture 5800-5260 BC Chr.
Samarra culture 5500-5000 BC Chr.
Transition to the Chalcolithic 5800-4500 BC Chr.
Halaf culture 5500-5000 BC Chr.
Chalcolithic 4500-3600 BC Chr.
Obed time 5000-4000 BC Chr.
Uruk time 4000-3100 / 3000 BC Chr.
Early Bronze Age 3000-2000 BC Chr.
Jemdet Nasr time 3000-2800 BC Chr.
Early dynasty 2900 / 2800-2340 BC Chr.
Battery life 2340-2200 BC Chr.
New Sumerian / Ur-III period 2340-2000 BC Chr.
Middle Bronze Age 2000-1550 BC Chr.
Isin Larsa Period / Ancient Assyrian Period 2000–1800 BC Chr.
Old Babylonian time 1800–1595 BC Chr.
Late Bronze Age 1550-1150 BC Chr.
Checkout time 1580-1200 BC Chr.
Central Assyrian Period 1400-1000 BC Chr.
Iron age 1150-600 BC Chr.
Isin II time 1160-1026 BC Chr.
Neo-Assyrian time 1000-600 BC Chr.
Neo-Babylonian Period 1025-627 BC Chr.
Late Babylonian Period 626-539 BC Chr.
Achaemenid period 539-330 BC Chr.
Years according to the middle chronology (rounded)

The kebaran (in the mostly English literature Kebaran , then often Kebaran culture ) is an archaeological culture , long the Upper Paleolithic in the Levant was attributed, but increasingly the Epipalaeolithic and thus the stage is assigned prior to the development of the producing life. It is therefore less and less the exclusive expression of the last Levantine hunter-gatherer culture.

The Kebarium was named after a site south of Haifa in Israel , the Kebara Cave , although the find of a Neanderthal man made there is of considerably greater importance. The members of the Kebaran culture were highly mobile hunters and gatherers who for a long time produced non-geometrical, but in the end phase geometrical, microlithic tools. But they also collected wild grain and made grinding tools to process the grain. The groups probably moved to higher areas in summer and spent the rainy winter in caves and under rock overhangs . The collection of wild grain can be seen as a preliminary stage to domestication (cf. Neolithic Revolution ) and leads to the cultivation of grain.

The Kebaria was long considered the last Upper Palaeolithic culture of the Levant, i.e. among the cultures in today's Syria , Jordan , Lebanon , Israel and the Palestinian territories , but today it is more of the immediate predecessor culture of the Epipalaeolithic Natufia . Therefore, it has recently been counted among the Epipalaeolithic cultures. The kebarian is between 18,000 and 12,000 BC. Dated, occasionally also beginning earlier.

With the help of the tools, a strong regionalization can be determined; BC non-geometric, from this incision geometric microliths, i.e. trapezoidal and triangular tool parts. In the Negev desert , a variant of the kebaria developed, which is known as the Negev kebaria and is divided into the phases Harif and Helwan . Geometric and Negev kebaria at least partially overlap, with the Helwan phase being dated a little later.

At the same time as this late phase, the Muschabia , a culture possibly originating in North Africa, developed in the Mediterranean, but arid zones .

Finds of settlement sites are rare and mostly small. They usually cover areas of 100 to 150 m². Volatile protective structures could be demonstrated. However, 20,000-year-old remains of settlements that are hardly inferior to those of the Natufien have recently been found at the eastern Jordanian site of Kharaneh IV . These were permanently used camps with permanent huts.

Despite minor traces of paleobotanism , the proportion of vegetable food seems to have increased. At the Ohalo site near the Sea of ​​Galilee , remains of 40 plant species were found, mainly cereals and edible fruits. Wild barley was ground and baked, maybe wild wheat too . The animal feed included fallow deer in the northern Levant and gazelles in the southern . The Dorcas gazelle and the ibex were hunted in the drier areas, while the crop gazelle and Asiatic donkey , a horse species, were hunted in the eastern steppes. Aurochs , wild boar and hartebeest were less common , and there were turtles, birds, reptiles, hares and foxes. In cheaper areas with a rich food supply, mobility seems to have been lower, distances to resources shorter, and population density higher.

In addition to the composite tools with microliths, which served sickles as cutting edges, bone tools such as those found in the Kebaran cave were particularly highly developed .

Significant sites include the Kebara Cave, the Hayonim Cave in western Galilee , which also contained deposits from the Moustéria , Aurignacia and early and late Natufia, then the "geometric" sites' Uyun al-Hammam in Jordan and Neve David in Israel and Wadi-Sayakh in southern Sinai .


  • Knut Bretzke, Philipp Drechsler, Nicholas J. Conard: Water availability and landuse during the Upper and Epipaleolithic in southwestern Syria , in: Journal of Archaeological Science 39.7 (2012) 2272–2279.
  • Emma Suzanne Humphrey: Hunting Specialization and the Broad Spectrum Revolution in the Early Epipalaeolithic: Gazelle Exploitation at Urkan e-Rubb IIa, Jordan Valley , PhD theses, Toronto 2012. ( online )
  • Lisa A. Maher, Tobias Richter, Jay T. Stock: The Pre-Natufian Epipaleolithic: Long-term Behavioral Trends in the Levant , in: Evolutionary Anthropology 21,2 (2012) 69–81.
  • Jennifer R. Jones: Using gazelle dental cementum studies to explore seasonality and mobility patterns of the Early-Middle Epipalaeolithic Azraq Basin, Jordan , in: Quaternary International 252 (2012) 195-201.
  • Lisa A. Maher: 2005 excavations at the Geometric Kebaran Site of 'Uyun al-Hammam, al-Kura district, Jordan , in: Annual of the Department of Antiquities Jordan 51 (2007) 263-272.
  • Daniel Kaufmann: Excavations at the Geometric Kebaran Site of Neve David, Israel: A Preliminary Report , in: Quartär 37/38 (1987) 189-199. ( online , PDF)
  • Ofer Bar-Yosef , Ann Killebrew : Wadi-Sayakh - A Geometric Kebaran Site in Southern Sinai , in: Paléorient 10 (1984) 95-102.


  1. in the Levant
  2. a b c d in southern Mesopotamia
  3. a b c in northern Mesopotamia
  4. This and the following according to Daniel T. Potts (Ed.): A Companion to the Archeology of the Ancient Near East , Wiley & Blackwell 2012, pp. 129–130.
  5. LA Maher, T. Richter, D. Macdonald, MD Jones, L. Martin et al .: Twenty Thousand-Year-Old Huts at a Hunter-Gatherer Settlement in Eastern Jordan , in: PLoS ONE 7,2 (2012): e31447. doi : 10.1371 / journal.pone.0031447 .
  6. Jerome Murphy-O'Connor (Ed.): The Holy Land. The travel guide to over 200 sites. Oxford University Press 2008, p. 448.

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