Netiv hagdud: An early neolithic village site in the jordan valley

Ofer Bar-Yosef, Avi Gopher, Eitan Tchernov, Mordechai E. Kislev

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Netiv Hagdud is an Early Neolithic village site in the Lower Jordan Valley. Systematic excavations exposed a 500-sq m surface, which included several oval and circular houses. Carbonized plant remains, animal bones, and a wealth oflithic assemblages were the primary materials recovered from the houses and the fill. The seeds indicate that barley cultivation was practiced, along with the continuous gathering of wild fruits and seeds. Gazelle hunting and trapping of migratory waterfowl provided the major meat sources. Evidence concerning distribution of subsistence activities indicates that the site was occupied during at least nine months each year. Domestic activities are expressed in a variety of grinding and pounding tools, a few bone objects, and numerous flint tools. The lithic industry, classified as Sultanian, is characterized by the presence of Khiam points, sickle blades, and tranchet (Tahunian) axes, and is similar to that uncovered in Jericho. Flexed burials, the removal of adult skulls, and a fewfemalefigurines are the only sources of information cornering on-site symbolic activities. The report discusses the primary finds from the excavations and places the site within the context of other Early Neolithic sites in the southern Levant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-424
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the National Geographic Society (Washington, D.C.), which enabled us to carry out the fieldwork in Netiv Hagdud; to the Wenner Gren Foundation for the initial grant that helped demonstrate the potential of the site; and to the Foundation for Basic Research administered by the Israel Academy of Science and the CARE-Archaeological Foundation (London) for making the laboratory analyses possible. The field project enjoyed the constant support of 1. Magen, the Archaeological Staff Officer for Judea and Samaria, and the facilities of Kibbutz Yitav, which lodged members of the expedition. We thank D. Nadel for the lithic analysis; D. E. Bar-Yosef for identifying the marine shells; T. Schick for identifying the basketry remains; P. Goldberg and M. A. Courty for discussions concerning geoarchaeological problems; J. C. Vogel (Pretoria), 1. Carmi .(Weizmann Institute of Science), and J. Gowlett (AMS Oxford) for the radiocarbon dates; and D. Enoch-Shiloh for the artifact drawings. Without the assistance in the field of O.


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