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Almost a thousand beads, pendants and seals have been excavated from the site of Domuztepe over the past decade. This paper is based on an examination of the general typology and technology of this assemblage. Manufacturing systems based upon social networks of decentralised organisation of small production ‘workshops’ are explored. It is suggested that these networks shared a system of sequenced actions according to raw material and finished products. A group of unfinished beads in the preliminary phase of production suggests evidence of batched reduction and finishing strategies that balanced breakage risk with a high level of proficiency. At Domuztepe the reduction sequences proposed here would have required tools for pecking, cutting, snapping, perforating, grinding and polishing of stones to create beads, pendants and seals of great quantity and variety. This paper is intended to open a dialogue between small finds and lithic specialists about the technological processes and tools used to create stone ornaments in the Neolithic Near East.


This work was originally published in "The State of the Stone: Terminologies, Continuities and Contexts in Studies in Early Near Eastern Production, Subsistence, and Environment," edited by E. Healey, S. Campbell and O. Maeda.



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