Good Things Come in Small Packages: Acheulian Small Tool Assemblages from the Shishan Marsh site (Jordan).

Author(s): Daniel Stueber; April Nowell

Year: 2015


Over the past century, prehistorians studying Acheulian assemblages have focused their energies largely on the handaxe arguing that its iconic symmetrical, tear drop shape can be a window onto the origins and evolution of modern cognition, sociality, language, teaching, skill acquisition, and even symbolic behavior. This focus on the handaxe, and by extension big game hunting, has largely been at the expense of Acheulian small tool and microlithic assemblages and their associated tasks. These assemblages, comprised of small cores and utilized flakes and tools of less than 5 cm in length, are known from sites in Europe, the Levant, Africa and Asia. A comprehensive study of these assemblages may challenge our definitions of what constitutes the "Acheulian" and alter our understanding of Lower Paleolithic subsistence practices, craft production and technical knowledge. In this paper, we present a detailed study of the small tool assemblages from the Shishan Marsh site, a newly excavated Acheulian paleomarsh site in Azraq, northeast Jordan and explore the role these assemblages played in hominin survival in a shifting paleodesert environment.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Good Things Come in Small Packages: Acheulian Small Tool Assemblages from the Shishan Marsh site (Jordan).. April Nowell, Daniel Stueber. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397374)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;