Tabular Scrapers of the Levant

Tabular scrapers are flat scrapers manufactured on larger flakes, which show intentional retention of the cortex on virtually the entire dorsal surface of the implement. They were manufactured from special large flint nodules with flat cortical surfaces and can be up to 40 cm long. Specialized extraction sites have been identified in Israel. Tabular scrapers are of variable shape (fan-shaped, oval, round, irregular). They were present during the late Neolithic until the Early Bronze Age throughout the Levant. During the Early Bronze Age they were often found together with so called “Canaanean Blades”.  It is suggested from limited use wear analyses that tabular scrapers were used as butchering knifes, although some researchers speculate about their use as wool-harvesting tools in nomadic pastoral societies. Although this could not be proven by microtraceology, there is a clear association between tabular scrapers and bones from sheep and goat. There is also some indications, like the occurrence of scrapers with incised geometric lines during the early Bronze Age, that such scrapers were used in a ritual context.


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