added by archaeologs The final Epipalaeolithic (Mesolithic) culture complex of the Levant, dated to c 12,500-10,000 BP, with its type site at Wadi an-Natuf in Palestine. Hunting and gathering were still the basis of subsistence, but some Natufian communities had adopted a settled mode of life and the period saw the development of cereal grain exploitation. They built first permanent village settlements in pre-agricultural times in Palestine (Mallaha) and on middle Euphrates in Syria (Mureybet, Abu Hureyra). A series of burials was excavated at Mount Carmel; one important site is Wad Cave with a large cemetery, querns, sickles. The shrine at the base of the tell at Jericho was built during the Early Natufian phase, and the descendants of the Natufians built the earliest Neolithic town at the site. The characteristic toolkit includes geometric microliths, sickles, pestles, mortars, fishing gear, and ornaments of bone and shell. Generally, Natufian sites demonstrate greater diversity in economy and more permanent settlement than earlier cultures.