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2017-08-29 06:18:20   •   ID: 1645

Tabular (Fan) Scrapers of the Levant

Figure 1
Tabular scrapers of the Levant 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 has been 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.

Anyhow more recent work revealed that they were predominantly used for scraping hides (Birkenfeld et al. 2020).

These results support the detailed analysis from Katia Zutovski (2018) who found "that fan scrapers are highly efficient tools for accurate and prolonged animal butchering and hide working.

The main advantage of fan scrapers is their mostly flat, thin morphology and large size that permits the creation of several relatively long working edges, various retouched angles (from sharp to abrupt), extensive resharpening, and a comfortable grasp

In addition the occurrence of scrapers with incised geometric lines during the early Bronze Age suggests, that such scrapers were used in a ritual context.

Provenance: Levenstein Collection (ISR)