SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: sickle sheen CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The gloss which occurs on the edge of flintsickle blades, and which is caused by the wear of the blade against the phytoliths in the grasses being reaped. A distinctive shine produced on flint tools which have been used to reap cereal grasses. The polish comes from the abrasive action of silica present in the stems of both wild and cultivated cereals, so the occurrence of reaping tools with sicklegloss need not by itself imply agriculture.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A hilltop site near Kirkuk in northern Iraq occupied in the period when the transition was beginning from hunting-and-gathering to farming. Its material is closely related to that of Zawi Chemi Shanidar and the culture is dated c 9000-7000 BC. There is no evidence of architecture, so the site was probably seasonal. Artifact evidence suggests an increased dependence on plant resources: blades with the silica sheen often described as 'sickle gloss', pierced stone balls which might have been weights for digging sticks, and stone axes.