Submerged pottery neolithic settlements off the coast of Israel: Subsistence, material culture and the development of separate burial grounds

Ehud Galili, Liora Kolska Horwitz, Vered Eshed, Baruch Rosen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Eight inundated archaeological sites dating to the Pottery Neolithic period (Wadi Rabah culture), 8000–6500 cal. BP, have been exposed under water off the Carmel coast of Israel. The sites represent in situ settlements with architectural remains comprising domestic stone-built structures and water wells built of wood and stone. Rich assemblages of flint tools, ground stone artefacts and pottery were recovered in addition to organic remains (wooden bowls, baskets etc.). Faunal and botanical remains demonstrate that the subsistence economy consisted of animal husbandry, hunting and fishing complemented by cultivation of domestic crops and gathering of wild plants. Special features include the beginning of olive oil extraction, a major component of the Mediterranean subsistence economy, demonstrated at the site of Kfar Samir, while at the Neve-Yam site, the earliest separate burial ground in the region was found with a concentration of stone-built cist graves.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoastal Research Library
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCoastal Research Library
ISSN (Print)2211-0577
ISSN (Electronic)2211-0585

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer International Publishing AG 2017.


We wish to thank EU COST Action TD0902 SPLASHCOS, the National Geographic Research Foundation, CARE Archaeological Foundation, MAFCAF Foundation, and Sandy and Joseph Lepelstat, the Honor Frost foundation and the Dan David foundation their financial support. The Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel Prehistoric Society, and Haifa University are acknowledged for their financial and institutional support of the underwater excavations. We also wish to express our appreciation to the divers and archaeologists who participated in the underwater excavations; to the many researchers who subsequently contributed to the study of the finds; S. Ben-Yehuda and B. Galili for the drawings; J. Galili, G. Arbel and I. Grinberg for the underwater photographs; M. Rasovsky for the treatment of organic material; I Carmi, D. Segal and E. Boaretto of the Weizmann Institute for radiocarbon dating; and I. Hershkovitz, M. Weinstein-Evron, N. Liphshitz, M. Kislev, A. Hartman, A. Gopher, D. Nadel, R. Barkai, A. Shifroni, D. Gersht, H. Michelin, K. Sharvit, I. Zohar, O. Lernau and H. K. Mienis for research on different aspects of the submerged sites and to O. Bar-Yosef, Y. Garfinkel and U. Avner for their comments on the discassion.

FundersFunder number
CARE Archaeological Foundation
Dan David Foundation
MAFCAF Foundation
National Geographic Research Foundation
Honor Frost Foundation
Prehistoric Society
University of Haifa


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