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A Neolithic innovation in eastern Arabia: haematite axes and adzes

Abstract : Well before metallurgy, Neolithic societies in the Gulf were engaging in a very peculiar form of metal object production, particularly of axes and adzes made from haematite. In the heart of the Neolithic Middle East, this innovation was specific to Arabian shores between the Musandam and Qatar peninsulas. Quite infrequent among Neolithic lithic assemblages from Arabia, axes and adzes were mostly collected on the surface of domestic settlements. One is often dealing with objects to which the most focus has been given, apart from arrowheads and projectile points. Several sites or outcrops are present on the Emirati coastline and Gulf islands. Inland mountain ranges also include some of these. From Ra’s al‐Khaimah to Qatar, only 500 km separate the most distant Neolithic domestic settlements which possess haematite axes or hoes, a distance that is quite small when one considers the circulation of polished stone blades in other societies of the same period. Within the Middle East, south‐eastern Arabia during the Neolithic engaged in a very original means of production of metal objects, as the latter did not focus on copper, a very malleable and much more available material, but on haematite, which was much harder.
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https://hal-inrap.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03229211
Contributor : Carine Carpentier <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 5:43:34 PM
Last modification on : Monday, May 31, 2021 - 3:20:17 AM

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Vincent Charpentier. A Neolithic innovation in eastern Arabia: haematite axes and adzes. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy, Wiley, 2020, The Neolithic of the Arabian Peninsula, 31 (1), pp.86-92. ⟨10.1111/aae.12142⟩. ⟨hal-03229211⟩

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