Place Of Discovery/Findspot:
Jaow Dassa (Al Da'asa)
This teardrop-shaped tool was likely used as a drill to create holes in hard materials such as shell, wood, bone or leather, due to its sharp point. It is bifacial (worked on both sides) and has been carefully worked along the edges through the technique of pressure chipping. This means that a hard, pointed object has been used to press the edges of the tool to break the flakes, rather than shaping it by hitting it with another hard object.
It can be classified as part of the cultural industry known as the Arabian Bifacial Tradition (ABT), due to the way in which the tool has been carved. ABT was a Neolithic industry discovered in the Rub' al-Khali region of the southern Arabian Peninsula, in connection with Ubaid period ceramic sites.
During the second part of the Neolithic period, the human population of Qatar entered a period of stability. This was due to several environmental factors leading to a diversity of food resources. Archaeologists have found remains of settlements in Al Da'asa, Al Khor, Ras Abruq, Shagra and Wadi Debayan, which indicate a certain level of social organization. Remains found at these sites include houses, fireplaces and workshops for the manufacturing of stone tools. The people lived by herding, fishing, hunting and gathering. Evidence related to fishing and fish processing includes middens (rubbish dumps) containing fish bones and shellfish remains, and numerous firepits where fish and meat might have been smoked. From the end of the 6th to the beginning of the 4th millennium BCE, the emergence of international trade with the Ubaid culture of Mesopotamia is remarkable.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT - REGION/GULF/WORLD
The Neolithic or New Stone Age is characterised by major changes in the ways of life of prehistoric man. This included increased sedentarisation (settling in one place); the appearance of agriculture; domesticated animal husbandry; and pottery and polished stone tools. The emblematic tool from this time was the polished axe, for this reason this period is also referred to as the ‘Age of the Polished Stone’.
In a few thousand years, many human populations went from being hunters and gatherers (Palaeolithic) to producers (Neolithic), attempting to dominate and transform the natural world. This is why the literature often uses the term 'Neolithic revolution'. However, it was rather a slow and geographically disparate evolution that took place in different ways and at different speeds across the world.
PUBLICATIONS AND RESEARCH
KAPEL, H., 1967, Atlas of the Stone-Age Cultures of Qatar, P. V. GLOB and T. G. BIBBY ed., Report of the Danish Archaeological Expedition to the Arabian Gulf vol. 1, Jutland Archaeological Society Publications vol. VI, Aarhus University Press, Denmark.
GERBER, C. et al., 2014, South Qatar Survey Project: Final Report for the 2014 Spring Season, A Qatari-German Joint Archaeological Fieldwork of the QMA (Doha) and the DAI (Berlin), [Unpublished report for Qatar Museums].