In 1928, Garrod was invited by the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem (BSAJ) to excavate Shuqba cave, where prehistoric stone tools had been discovered by a French priest named Alexis Mallon four years earlier.
100 farmers dating sites
Over the next two decades Garrod found Natufian material at several of her pioneering excavations in the Mount Carmel region, including el-Wad, Kebara and Tabun, as did the French archaeologist René Neuville, firmly establishing the Natufian in the regional prehistoric chronology.
As early as 1931, both Garrod and Neuville drew attention to the presence of stone sickles in Natufian assemblages and the possibility that this represented very early agriculture.
It is generally seen as a successor, which evolved out of elements within that preceding culture.
There were also other industries in the region, such as the Mushabian culture of the Negev and Sinai, which are sometimes distinguished from the Kebaran or believed to have been involved in the evolution of the Natufian.
The habitations of the Natufian are semi-subterranean, often with a dry-stone foundation. No traces of mudbrick have been found, which became common in the following Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA).
The round houses have a diameter between three and six meters, and they contain a central round or subrectangular fireplace.
More generally there has been discussion of the similarities of these cultures with those found in coastal North Africa.
Graeme Barker notes there are: "similarities in the respective archaeological records of the Natufian culture of the Levant and of contemporary foragers in coastal North Africa across the late Pleistocene and early Holocene boundary".
The underbrush of this open woodland was grass with high frequencies of grain.