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 season. Subesequent seasons have revealed a much wider range of funerary practices and elucidated stratigraphic and other problems.

the Rift to Mt. Hermon and northern Jordan, as well as the Jezreel Valley and Mt. Gilboa. The location and nature of the site are such as to indicate that it may have functioned primarily as a regional funerary center for nearby communities. Technotypological similarities to nearby Yiftahel are used to date it to the first half of the 9th millennium BP, i.e. the Middle PPNB.

The limited excavations to date have revealed a complex stratigraphic series ofca. 5-25m2, quadrilateral, lime-plaster surfaced structures, terrace or compound walls, and open areas with numerous pits and installations commonly filled with burnt stones, animal bones, and other artifacts (Figure 5). There is also a possible solidly built structure with a red-painted plaster surface containing querns, one of which was filled with lime plaster, though some could also have been used for plant processing and food preparation. Limited probes beneath several ofthe lime-plastered surfaces have revealed numbers of primary, and especially secondary, human interments, often in direct and hitherto unique coassociations with animal remains, sometimes in partial or complete articulation.

Two plastered skulls have already been recovered from different areas of the site. One, excellently preserved and expertly modeled, was recovered from a lime-plastered pit beneath a lime-plastered surface with a stone-lined and plastered depression containing a single posthole (totem?) lo-

Figure 3. Modeled skull (KHH-H01) from Kfar HaHoresh.
Figure 4. Plan of Locus 1010 in upper area.

cated above the skull (Figures 2-4). It was directly associated with an otherwise complete but headless gazelle carcass. Another fragmentary plastered skull was found in a small oval installation, perhaps also associated with a lime-plastered surface (Figure 5). A probe elsewhere beneath two plastered surfaces revealed parts of an articulated contracted human skeleton lacking the head and mandible (probably removed through a hole in the lower plaster surface) directly overlying a 1-m-diameter and 50-cm-deep pit filled with some 200 partially articulated postcranial aurochs bones, representing at least six adult animals and two immature ones (Figure 6). A limited probe of only 1.5 m2 beneath yet another plastered surface has already provided numerous isolated human mandibles, other postcranial elements, a few in partial articulation, possibly also in association with articulated gazelle re-

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