Kfar Hahoresh

Kfar HaHoresh is a 1-2 acre PPNB site located on a secluded north-facing slope in the uppermost reaches of a small, narrow wadi in the lower Galilee Nazareth Hills, north of the Jezreel Valley. Potential arable land is at a premium in the immediate vicinity of the site, as opposed to the settings of most PPNB villages in the region. Though secluded, the opposite hilltop provides a panoramic view from Mt. Carmel and the Mediterranean, across *This is based on results through the 1996 field...

Secondary Mortuary Rituals And Community Identity

A number of ethnographic and archaeological studies have illustrated how broader beliefs and worldviews are expressed in secondary mortuary practices and often reflect aspects of ancestor worship and responsibility to the deceased (see Crocker 1977 Hertz 1960 Kan 1989 Kuijt 1996 Lopatin 1960 Metcalf and Huntington 1991 Weiner 1976). Within this paper secondary mortuary practice is defined as a social act focused on the regular and socially sanctioned removal of objects, pieces, or entire...

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Figure 5. (A) Plan view of Jericho MPPNB skull cache Ell- 16(EI, II, V, phase xxxiii). After Kenyon (1981 Plate 155). (B) Plan view of Jericho MPPNB skull cache D35-44 (DI phase xxix-xxx). After Kenyon (1981 Plate 36). Note physical grouping of nine skulls in three groups of three. Figure 5. (A) Plan view of Jericho MPPNB skull cache Ell- 16(EI, II, V, phase xxxiii). After Kenyon (1981 Plate 155). (B) Plan view of Jericho MPPNB skull cache D35-44 (DI phase xxix-xxx). After Kenyon (1981 Plate...

Nature Of The Hajji Firuz Sample

All of the small clay objects from the site came from the latest part of the occupation, phases D throughA. To a degree this chronological distribution reflects excavation methods rather than any change in behavior on the part cf the sixth millennium villagers. For example, phases A through D were sampled in 1968 using small picks and (sometimes) sieves in an effort to recover all types of material remains. Phases before D were excavated in 1961with large picks and no sieves in an effort to...

Yarmukian Pottery Imagery and Interpretations

The Yarmukian imagery assemblage was described originally by Stekelis (1950 1951, 1972) and more recently by Garfinkel (1992, 1995), with alternative interpretations offered by Gopher and Orrelle (1996). The assemblage comprises a number of categories of stone and clay items representing males, females, and androgynous persons, as well as sexual organs. A concentration of genital imagery characterizes both the stone and clay items. We have argued elsewhere (Gopher and Orrelle 1996) that some...

Symbolism and Meaning

As with other recent considerations of the nature of social relations in middle-range societies, these chapters focus on exploring some of the relationships between Neolithic social relations, material culture, and symbolism and meaning. One of the relatively recent developments in the study of Neolithic social systems is that researchers have begun to employ a wider range of material data sets to explore the nature of social relationships within and between different social units. In this...

Community Organization

Hallan emi was clearly not a particularly large community, as is perhaps to be expected of a society not far removed from a mobile hunting-gathering lifeway. The site, at under 0.5 ha, is not particularly large and the number of Figure 3. Stone platform (building level 1). Figure 3. Stone platform (building level 1). clearly identifiable structures, at no more than five per several hundred square excavated meters in each level, is also relatively small. Even if we make the highly debatable...

Prepottery Neolithic C Period Ppnc

Although more than 800 m2 of PPNC deposits have been exposed at 'Ain Ghazal, they have been sampled deeply only for ca. 220 m2 in the South and North Fields. Despite the small sample for the LPPNB, there are clear differences in ritual activity in the first half of the eighth millennium bp. Only a handful of figurines have been recovered from PPNC contexts, including at least eight humans, four identifiable animals (one each of cattle, sheep, goat, and equid all but the last were domesticated...

The Ascendancy Of Masculine Symbols And The Neolithic Triumphant

In comparison to the PPNA, archaeological excavation and survey of PPNB settlements of the Near East have furnished a much more deiailed understanding of a clear overall demographic increase, the appearance of more numerous villages, and the expansion of communities into new regions such as Anatolia. On the symbolic level, female representations continued to dominate, but a few explicitly masculine anthropomorphic figurines also appeared, and the theme of the bull spread throughout the Near...

Acknowledgments

This study has been directly and indirectly supported by the Department of Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (grant 753-91-0218), the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University, the Peabody Museum at Harvard, the Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation (grant 91-12725), the Sigma Xi Foundation, the American Schools of Oriental Research, the British Institute in Amman for Archaeology and History, and...

Early Holocene Ritual And Mortuary Practices In Levant

Discussions of the nature of Epi-Paleolithic Natufian sites have tended to focus on such questions as settlement patterns and sedentism, commonly within the framework of settlement size and subsistence. Yet perhaps other subdivisions may be no less relevant. Throughout the Natufian in the Mediterranean zone some sites appear to have functioned primarily, if not solely, as cemeteries, e.g. Erq el-Ahmar and Nahal Oren among others. In other (especially Early) Natufian sites in the Mediterranean...

Domestic Building Sizes and Implications for Household Sizes

Examination of diachronic trends in prehistoric domestic structure size and organization have revealed that the most prominent changes occurred between the PPNA and the PPNB. No major changes are well documented prior to this period (except for the site-specific exception of the Early Natufian at 'AinMallaha). Thus, the fundamental questions are What was the nature of social organization that characterized pre-PPNB settlements What do the changes from the PPNA to PPNB imply in terms of social...

Coexistence of Hierarchical and Egalitarian Elements

Recent Neolithic studies suggest that social relations, as well as their material manifestations, can be envisioned as amalgamations of social practices that alternatively serve to highlight elements of social differentiation and egalitarianism in communities. This perspective relies on ethnographic and anthropological research that illustrates three aspects to social relations in present and past middle-range communities (1) social inequality is ubiquitous and found in all societies (Blanton...

The Nevali Cori Cult Buildings

There were three consecutive nondomestic buildings at Nevali Cori constructed in the same location, and associated with each of the first three (of five) Neolithic occupation levels of the site (Hauptmann 1997 131-132, contra Hauptmann 1993 55). The earliest of these structures (Building I) was poorly preserved, consisting ofwall fragments. Building II was almost square, nearly 14 m on a side (Hauptmann 1993 42-48, Figures 4-8). A narrow entrance was located in the center of the southwest wall,...

Early Sedentism in the Near East

Abu Madi Neolithic

Anna Belfer-Cohen AND Ofer Bar-Yosef The emergence of sedentary communities in the Near East, as reflected in bioarchaeological data sets, occurred between 13,000and 10,000years ago. The process involved two major archaeological entities, the Natufian and the earliest Neolithic period, termed Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA). These were followed by the cultural entities of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period (PPNB) with extensive evidence for sedentary village communities as well as domesticates...

Wadi Raba Pottery Imagery and Interpretations

In contrast to the Yarmukian, anthropomorphous imagery is very sparse in the Wadi Raba culture. The only known example is a carinated hole-mouth jar from Ein el Jarba with an applied image of a human figure with an animal headdress. This and similar items from Tepe Gawra are interpreted by Kaplan (1969 18) as the prototype of a figure related to a fertility cult concerned with the renewal of youth or the bringing of rain. Small clay animal figurines are known from a number of Wadi Raba sites,...

Frameworks of Governance and Social Differentiation in Neolithic Society

In light of the relative wealth of information we have on the nature of Neolithic subsistence economies, I think many researchers (e.g.,Baird 1997 Rollefson 1998) would agree that we know comparatively little about the critical topic of leadership and governance in Neolithic households and communities.While there are exceptions, few studies have directly addressed the nature of leadership and governance at different scales, such as the individual, household, community, and regional levels, or...

Prepottery Neolithic A Period 103009300 Bp

Though of shorter duration than the preceding Natufian, the Levantine Pre-Pottery Neolithic A period (PPNA), dated to between ca.10,300and 9,300 years bp, represents a period of dramatic change, during which crucial phenomena appeared for the first time in human history (for more detailed descriptions see Bar-Yosef 1991, 1992 Bar-Yosef and Belfer-Cohen 1989a Cauvin 1994 Kuijt 1995 Moore 1985). The PPNA comprises two archaeological entities the Khiamian and the Sultanian (Figure 3), of which the...

Public Buildings and Mortuary Practices at ayonu Tepesi

The PPNB settlement in southeastern Turkey for which we have the largest sample as well as the longest sequence is Cayonu near modern Diyarbekr. The site was excavated between 1964 and 1991, exposing nearly 5,000 m2 (c. 22 ) of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic settlement, with six occupation phases dated between 10,250and 8,000 bp (A. Ozdogan 1995 81432 M. Ozdogan 1997133444). Domestic architecture changes throughout this period, beginning with round houses, succeeded by channel,grill-plan, and...

Introduction Of Innovation To Farming Communities

Jarmo Tempel

The end of the tenth and the entire ninth millennia bp (uncalibrated) represent a period of major transition in lifeways, from mobile hunter-gatherers to food production in the Mediterranean Levant (Bar-Yosef and Belfer-Cohen 1992 Bar-Yosef and Meadow 1995 Horwitz 1993 Kohler-Rollefson 1989 Mellaart 1975 Moore 1985 Redman 1978 Rollefson and Kohler-Rollefson 1989). This transformation is accompanied by a marked increase in overall population densities in the area and recolonization of adjacent...

Interpretation of the Gritille Figurines

Viewed collectively, the form, wear, and disposition of the Gritille clay figures conform to the pattern predicted for figures used as vehicles of magic, artifacts made by individuals as part of rituals used to ensure the well-being of the maker(s). This is hardly an earthshaking conclusion, but it is based not on assumption and simple assertion but on matches between archaeological data and a set of predicted attributes based on patterns in observed human behavior. Both wear pattern and...

Abu Hureyra

Upstream some 200 km from Bouqras, was Abu Hureyra. At 11.5 ha, this was the largest pre-pottery settlement known from Syria during the span 9,600-9,200bp. Andrew Moore reports finding mud-brick houses of similar style across the entire mound. He describes them as having several rooms and were separated from each other, even if only by narrow passages and courts. The rooms were always small, no more than from 1.4 to 2 m. wide and 3 to 4 m. long. Some houses may have had lofts supported by poles...

Ritual and Social Structure at Neolithic Ain Ghazal

A fascination with the spirit world has drawn the attention of scholars and laymen alike for centuries, if not millennia. The draw is especially strong with prehistoric societies, since the absence of written records leaves the field of interpretation temptingly wide open. In the decades after the exciting finds from Jericho in the 1930s (e.g.,Garstang and Garstang 1948) and 1950s (Kenyon 1970) and the dramatic evidence from atal Huyuk in the 1960s (Mellaart, 1967), a coherent picture of the...

Sculptures and Iconography at Nevali Cori

Information on stone images used in the Nevali Cori cult buildings is provided by broken fragments when the structure was rebuilt, items presumably used within the older building were deposited within the walls and benches of its successor. The most astonishing find was a sculpted column that Hauptmann compares to a Northwest Coast totem pole 1997 133 T re et al. 1999 Plate21, printed upside down . At the top of the column was a bird with rounded breast, its head broken away Hauptmann 1993...

Conclusions

In many ways this discussion of the symbolic aspects of the Neolithic revolution is intended more to suggest a direction for future research than to discuss results from previous studies. While it can be argued by some researchers that there are insufficient archaeological data sets to engage in the kinds of debates presented here, it should also be pointed out that archaeologists, like all scholars, tend to find only what they are seeking. Nothing is more limiting and blinding in the...