Located in Syria, Mureybet,
along with Abu Hureyra, are the earliest known agricultural based
villages. In the last 20 years they have been identified as one of the
earliest Neolithic Revolution villages. Both villages, which date from
7600 B.C. to 6000 B.C., provide much evidence of the horticultural
presence during this time. Einkorn wheat has been found at Mureybet.
Along with wheat, the Mureybetiens also grew peas and barley. They
lived in round houses made of limestone bricks, held together by clay.
In 1971, Jacques Cauvin
excavated Mureybet. The site was comprised of four main archeological
levels, including Late Natufian, Khiamian, Mureybetian, and Old and
Middle PPNB. Cauvin discovered that the people of Mureybet gradually
changed their style of house construction round houses to building
square houses. According to the stratigraphic sequence, the Mureybet
village has run a parallel resemblance to the cultural processes that
took place during the 11th and 9th millennium B.C. in the Southern
Levant and Middle Euphrates. Also, according to the archaeobotanical
analysis of plants in Mureybet, the village evolved from the
exploitation of wild plants to the cultivation of cereals. This
happened during the Mureybetian archeological level.
In 1993, Danielle Stordeur took
over the excavations. Many artifacts have been found, including
furniture. The National Museum of Antiquities of Damas currently holds
the artifacts recovered from the site. Some of the most important
artifacts that have been found are ancient tokens. These tokens were
found in the Mureybetian archeological level, along with many other
archeological sites. Denise Schmandt-Besserat said, "The token
system was, in fact, the first code -- the earliest system of signs
used for transmitting information." Some people believe this
system even predates speech. Evidence of this is found because the
token system was already in use before the proto-Sumerians developed
simple consonant-vowel words.