This creamy-white point comes from Lusail on the east coast of Qatar. Made from flint stone, it was found on a rocky outcrop, Jebel Lusail, along with numerous flint arrowheads. These arrowheads are part of a distinctive type known as ‘Qatar B blade arrowheads’. They were made using blades (long flakes) that were struck from a core (a suitable piece of stone chosen to create blades or flakes by striking it with another stone, or hard organic object such as animal horn).
Archaeologists assign Qatar B arrowheads to the Early Neolithic period, though there is debate over whether they belong to a local tradition, or one influenced by Early Neolithic (Pre-Pottery Neolithic B) flint technology that originated in the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel and Jordan). This example is either unfinished, or it is an accidental waste flake formed while producing blades.
The climate of Arabia became progressively wetter and more hospitable during the early Neolithic period. This changed the behaviour of the people, causing them to live in small, mobile groups with seasonal habitation, frequently moving to different locations to hunt, fish and gather food.
This change led to the adoption of a manufacturing economy with specific workshops to produce stone tools. People no longer lived in natural areas, but built their own houses and shelters, such as those found on the east coast at Al Wusail, or inland like Asaila. In most parts of the Middle East, agriculture and animal husbandry were adopted, but it is not yet clear whether this occurred in eastern Arabia in the early Neolithic period.
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, p. 31, XXXV, A.119–A.125, pl. 23–24.
NIESLSEN, V., 1961, Al Wusail. Mesolitiske Flintpladser I Qatar, KUML, p.169-184.