Online Journal of Anthropology

agriculture

 

Prehistoric Village Links Old and New Stone Age

 

Newly-excavated village in the Jordan Valley sheds light on the historical shift from foraging to agriculture, say Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologists

 

Archaeologists from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem revealed in Israel a prehistoric village, dated around 12,000 years ago, in excavations in the fertile Jordan Valley.

 

The site, named NEG II, is located in Nahal (wadi) Ein-Gev, at the middle of the perennial stream that flows west to the Sea of Galilee.

 

A series of excavations on site revealed an abundance of findings, including human burial remains, flint tools, art manifestations, faunal assemblage, ground stone and bone tools. The excavated area revealed an extensive habitation with deep cultural deposits (2.5 to 3 meters deep) and the site is estimated as covering roughly 1200 m2

 

Surprisingly, the village differs markedly from others of its period in Israel. The findings encapsulate cultural characteristics typical of both the Old Stone Age — known as the Paleolithic period, and the New Stone Age — known as the Neolithic period.

 

“Although attributes of the lithic tool kit found at NEG II places the site chronologically in the Paleolithic period, other characteristics – such as its artistic tradition, size, thickness of archaeological deposits and investment in architecture – are more typical of early agricultural communities in the Neolithic period,” said Dr. Leore Grosman, from the Institute of Archaeology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who led the excavations.

 
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