Pre-ceramic Neolithic B

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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 Pre-Ceramic Neolithic B or PPNB (for Pre-Pottery Neolithic B) was defined by Kathleen Kenyon based on the findings from Jericho. It is the younger stage of the Akeramikums and follows the Pre-Ceramic Neolithic A (PPNA) of the Levant. The PPNB describes an era in which sedentary agriculture and livestock were already practiced, while ceramic vessels were unknown in the region. Small animal and human figures were made from clay and other materials ( Cafer Höyük , Mureybet ). Vessels were made from plaster of paris or burnt lime ( Vaisselles Blanches or White ware ). Stone vessels are also known, some in animal form ( bouqras ). Hollow human figures made of a calcareous material are known from ʿAin Ghazal (Jordan).


The PPNB is common in Syria, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Southeast Turkey.

House building and settlement method

The houses are typically multi-room and rectangular, in contrast to the round houses of the previous era. Good examples are known from Çayönü ( grill-plan houses ) and Cafer Höyük.

Lithic inventory

A bidirectional breakdown of keel-shaped cores is typical. Scratches, arrowheads, sickle blades, drills and axes (e.g. Nahal Lavan 109) are known to be used in devices. For the PPNB specific forms are:

  • Çayönü devices, long, laterally retouched blades with a clearly thickened proximal end of a previously unknown purpose
  • Byblos tips, of which we know several stages of development
  • Leaf-shaped tips with basal surface retouching
  • Tips with a capped base ( truncated base points )
  • Helwan peaks

Flint and Anatolian obsidian were used as raw materials .


Above all, settlement burials are known. Grave goods are becoming common, and animal bone finds are increasing compared to the PPNA. The faces of the dead were partially modeled from plaster ( Jericho , Nahal Hemar ). The skull is often processed or removed, put on display and then buried separately.


The PPNB is in the 8800 - v 7000th Chr. Dated and corresponds to levels 3-4 of the Maison de l'Orient . The dating of the end of PPNB depends on whether you separate an independent phase PPNC (7000 - 6400 BC ), as is often the case in Israel, or add it to the outgoing PPNB (PPNB final).

Related phenomena

Partly the Cypriot PPNB and the ceramic cultures of Central Anatolia ( Cafer Höyük ) are also included in the PPNB.

Important sites


  1. in the Levant
  2. a b c d in southern Mesopotamia
  3. a b c in northern Mesopotamia
  4. ^ A b c Jacques Cauvin : The birth of the Gods and the origins of agriculture. Cambridge 2000, ISBN 0521651352 , p. 78 Online , original title Jacques Cauvin, Naissance des divinités, naissance de l'agriculture: la Révolution des symboles au Néolithique. CNRS, Paris 1994, ISBN 2271051517 .
  5. ^ Ian Kuijt: The Regeneration of Life: Neolithic Structures of Symbolic Remembering and Forgetting. In: Current Anthropology 49/2, 2008, 171–197 provides a good overview of the practices used.


  • J. Cauvin: The birth of the Gods and the origins of agriculture. Cambridge 2000, ISBN 0521651352 .