Straus Under the direction of Dr. Lawrence Straus, Mr. Thomas Berger will collect data for his doctoral dissertation. He will study a large series of materials excavated from archaeological sites in Israel, Jordan and Syria. All date to the Natufian period which immediately precedes the emergence of settled agricultural societies in the Near East. In addition to architecture, site ecology and chronological placement, he will focus on the stone tools and chipping waste which was recovered in abundance at all localities. He will attempt to locate the sources of the stone raw material and to reconstruct the processes used to manufacture finished tools. He will also examine how these changed through time. On this basis he will gain insight into the social and economic organization of the Natufians and determine how the moved over and utilized their landscape. The Neolithic Revolution, marked by the domestication of plants and animals, constitutes one of the major turning points in human prehistory. It set the base for complex societies and the emergence of social hierarchies. Archaeologists have come to realize that one must intensively examine the period which immediate precedes the Neolithic Revolution to gain insight into its cause and this is the goal of Mr. Berger's research. The project will produce data of interest to many archaeologists and assist in the training of a promising young scientist.