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crescent
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Great Basin Transverse point
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A crescent-shaped bifacially flaked stone tool generally restricted to the Paleo-Indian period and almost always found in association with extinct Pleistocene lakes. They were possibly used for hunting large shorebirds.
Fertile Crescent
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The region in the Middle East where the civilizations of the Middle East and the Mediterranean basin began. The term was invented by the American Orientalist James Henry Breasted in 1916. It applied to the crescent-shaped area of cultivable land between the highland zones and the West Asian desert, stretching from Egypt through the Levant to southern Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia, and eastwards to the flanks of the Zagros Mountains. Conditions in this area were favorable for the early development of farming, and all the earliest farming communities were thought to lie within it. The Fertile Crescent in its wider extension corresponds exactly to the region described in the Hebrew traditions of Genesis; it also contains the ancient countries -- Babylonia, Assyria, Egypt, Phoenicia -- from which the Greek and Roman civilizations evolved. The belief that the earliest culture known to mankind originated in the Fertile Crescent has been confirmed by radiocarbon dating since 1948. It is now known that incipient agriculture and village agglomerations there must be dated back to about 8000 BC, if not earlier, and that irrigation was used almost immediately.
segment
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: crescent
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Small stone tool made on a blade or bladelet and shaped like part of a circle; the backing is along a curved arc opposite a straight unretouched edge. It was hafted, possibly as a projectile tip or as part of a cutting tool. Segments occur in some sub-Saharan African Howiesons Poor and Later Stone Age assemblages and are widespread in North Africa.

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