Environmental stresses may also have caused Natufians
in the Near East to settle down for the first time and pursue agriculture," he said.
This is a custom that is no longer nomadic and shows the Natufians
were in a very interesting transition stage.
In his view, those huts--but not the Kharaneh IV huts--were precursors of 14,500-year-old oval structures with stone foundations built at several Middle Eastern sites by the Natufians
, the first foraging society known to inhabit permanent settlements.
The Natufians practiced decapitation indicating that this society practiced certain rituals but with a meaningful purpose that would have served their new transition to agriculturalists.
The Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) burials were similar to the Natufians being pits dug in soil as in Sabra (Finlayson et al.
Then the onset of a much colder and more arid climate brought a marked fall in the distribution of wild cereal grasses, which appears to have forced the Natufians
to return to hunting-gathering in order to survive.
And thus the 'voices' which I am supposing were heard by the Natufians
could with time improvise and 'say' things that the king himself had never said.
Throughout much of their existence, Natufians avidly hunted gazelle as well as small animals such as tortoises, partridges, and hares.
As many Middle Easterners had done for millennia, the Natufians continued to collect and eat wild cereals.
Data from Israeli sites suggests that the Natufians
spent most of the year in villages, where they specialized in gazelle hunting and gathering cereals, perhaps leading to the beginnings of agriculture, holds Daniel E.
Plant food shortages may have provided an important incentive for cereal cultivation by early Natufians, Unger-Hamilton says.
Unger-Hamilton's demonstration of cereal cutting by early Natufians is persuasive, says Harvard University archaeologist Ofer Bar-Yosef, but it is not clear whether they tilled the soil or harvested cereals in large natural stands.