Photo by David Harris

Although pottery was introduced in the Yarmukian era (6400–5800 B.C.), stone tools continued to play an important role in Yarmukian households, especially for food preparation. Neolithic peoples had two basic techniques for processing food: They could pound it, using a mortar and pestle (see photo of mortar and pestle), or they could crush it between a basalt grinding stone and a large stone grinding slab (shown here). The Yarmukians also used basalt and limestone to make bowls, spoons and many basic household tools, including hammers, whetstones and sharpeners.