We are grateful to Ben-Yosef et al. (above) for their thorough critical evaluation of our recent paper. We identified a group of modified wooden shafts originating in two large complex caves with Late Chalcolithic (Ghassulian) burials in the Negev Desert (Israel) as the earliest Levantine wooden spinning implements (Langgut et al. 2016). Their detailed assessment culminated in the alternative hypothesis that the wooden objects functioned as sticks that carried metal maceheads during rituals. This raises several issues that merit serious consideration. Our response to Ben-Yosef et al.'s suggestions is divided into two sections, each concentrating on one of the two main technologies under discussion: spinning and metallurgy.
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