|Geographical range Fertile Crescent|
Type site Jericho
Preceded by Natufian culture
|Dates circa 8,500 B.C.E. — circa 5,500 B.C.E.|
Followed by Halaf culture, Neolithic Greece, Faiyum A culture
The Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN, around 8500-5500 BCE) represents the early Neolithic in the Levantine and upper Mesopotamian region of the Fertile Crescent. It succeeds the Natufian culture of the Epipaleolithic (Mesolithic) as the domestication of plants and animals was in its beginnings, possibly triggered by the Younger Dryas. The Pre-Pottery Neolithic culture came to an end around the time of the 8.2 kiloyear event, a cool spell lasting several hundred years centred on 6200 BCE.
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
The Pre-Pottery Neolithic is divided into Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA 8500 BCE - 7600 BCE) and the following Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB 7600 BCE - 6000 BCE). These were originally defined by Kathleen Kenyon in the type site of Jericho (Palestine). The Pre-Pottery Neolithic precedes the ceramic Neolithic (Yarmukian). At 'Ain Ghazal in Jordan the culture continued a few more centuries as the so-called Pre-Pottery Neolithic C culture.
Around 8000 BCE during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) the world's first town Jericho appeared in the Levant.
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
PPNB differed from PPNA in showing greater use of domesticated animals, a different set of tools, and new architectural styles.
Pre-Pottery Neolithic C
Work at the site of 'Ain Ghazal in Jordan has indicated a later Pre-Pottery Neolithic C period. Juris Zarins has proposed that a Circum Arabian Nomadic Pastoral Complex developed in the period from the climatic crisis of 6200 BCE, partly as a result of an increasing emphasis in PPNB cultures upon domesticated animals, and a fusion with Harifian hunter gatherers in the Southern Levant, with affiliate connections with the cultures of Fayyum and the Eastern Desert of Egypt. Cultures practicing this lifestyle spread down the Red Sea shoreline and moved east from Syria into southern Iraq.