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Chapter 5: Neolithic 3 Kfar Giladi (Page 352-354)

Pre-History and Archaeology Glossary

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The pre-historic site of Kfar Giladi is situated on a hill to the north of the village of the same name. During excavations in 1958 and 1962 a Neolithic settlement was found on the natural subsoil with Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age remains on top of it (See Page 274 in *1 and Page 273 in *2 Below). Two levels were distinguished in the Neolithic deposits; an occupation layer of earth and ashes below and a stone wall 1.2 metres thick with associated debris above. The artefacts were of the same character in both levels.

The pottery which I have examined was a medium-fired ware with grit filler. The fabric was often pink in colour but the surface of most sherds was a fairly uniform grey. A few were brown or black in colour. The surface of the vessels was either scraped smooth or burnished. The pots were simple in shape ranging from hole-mouth jars to hemispherical bowls and cups. A few were decorated with incisions or cord impressions.

The flints include tanged pressure-flaked arrowheads - segmented sickle blades and partly polished adzes and chisels. Some bone tools were found in the excavations and also part of a baked clay female figurine.

A charcoal sample from the lowest Neolithic level has given a C-14 date of 6955 +/- 320 BC MATJ-1 (See Page 273 in *2 Below). This would appear to be too early a date for the site since it is inconsistent with the typology of the artefacts found there. The sample was taken from the lowest level so it is possible that there was an earlier deposit at the bottom which was not recognised in the excavation for which this C-14 date is the only evidence.

The typology of the flints would suggest that Kfar Giladi was occupied in Neolithic 3 or the next stage but we do not know enough about them to decide which it was. The pottery is more helpful since the shape -- finish and decoration of the vessels resembles that found at Nebaa Faour and many of the pots from Labweh. The grey colour of much of the Kfar Giladi pottery is a more southern characteristic found on several sites in northern Palestine. When writing about Kfar Giladi several years ago I said that the pottery and some of the flints were like those of sites in Palestine which on other evidence appeared to have been occupied in the 5th millennium (See Page 54 in *3 Below). I was not then inclined to accept the suggestion made by Copeland (See Page 87 in *4 Below) that Kfar Giladi was occupied in the 6th millennium. I now believe that the Palestinian sites should be dated earlier as I shall explain later in this chapter and this new dating would also place the occupation at Kfar Giladi further back in time. The comparison that Copeland made between Kfar Giladi and the Beka'a sites and that I made between it and the sites in Palestine are thus both valid. Kfar Giladi does indeed seem to have been occupied sometime in Neolithic 3 though perhaps a little later than the other sites from the same area that I have discussed .....


*1 Kfar Giladi (1958) J. Kaplan
Israel Exploration Journal in Volume 8
Library of Congress # DS 111 A1 I87

*2 Kfar Giladi (1966) J. Kaplan
Israel Exploration Journal Volume 16
Library of Congress # DS 111 A1 I87

*3 The Late Neolithic in Palestine (1973)
A.M.T. Moore in Levant Volume 5
Library of Congress # DS 56 L48

*4 Neolithic Village Sites in the South Beqaa -- Lebanon (1969)
Mélanges de l'Université Saint-Joseph Volume 45
Library of Congress # PJ 3001 B5

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium