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Some scholars use it to define a separate culture, the Harifian.
Sickle blades also appear for the first time in the Natufian lithic industry.
More generally there has been discussion of the similarities of these cultures with those found in coastal North Africa.
Graeme Barker notes there are: "similarities in the respective archaeological records of the Natufian culture of the Levant and of contemporary foragers in coastal North Africa across the late Pleistocene and early Holocene boundary".
The underbrush of this open woodland was grass with high frequencies of grain.
The high mountains of Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon, the steppe areas of the Negev desert in Israel and Sinai, and the Syro-Arabian desert in the east were much less favoured for Natufian settlement, presumably due to both their lower carrying capacity and the company of other groups of foragers who exploited this region.
The period is commonly split into two subperiods: Early Natufian (12,500–10,800 BC) and Late Natufian (10,800–9,500 BC).
The Late Natufian most likely occurred in tandem with the Younger Dryas (10,800 to 9,500 BC).
The Late Pleistocene Epipalaeolithic Natufian sample was described as problematic due to its small size (consisting of only three males and one female), as well as the lack of a comparative sample from the Natufians' putative descendants in the Neolithic Near East.At Ain Mallaha (in Northern Israel), Anatolian obsidian and shellfish from the Nile valley have been found. There was a rich bone industry, including harpoons and fish hooks.Stone and bone were worked into pendants and other ornaments.She identified this with the Mesolithic, a transitional period between the Palaeolithic and the Neolithic which was well represented in Europe but had not yet been found in the Near East.A year later, when she discovered similar material at el-Wad Terrace, Garrod suggested the name the Natufian culture, after the Wadi an-Natuf that ran close to Shuqba.
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In 1928, Garrod was invited by the the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem (BSAJ) to excavate Shuqba cave, where prehistoric stone tools had been discovered by a French priest named Alexis Mallon four years earlier.