Other Archaeological Sites / The Neolithic of the Levant (500 Page Book Online)
Epi-Palaeolithic (European Mesolithic) Natufian Culture of Israel
Other Natufian Culture Sites Include:
Selected Excerpts on Natufian Culture:
In 1928 the Brittish School in Jerusalem undertook the excavation of the Cave of Shukba, discovered by Pere Alexis Mallon. The cave lies among the Judaean hills. It opens onto the northern side of the Wadi en Natuf (1).
The Natufian culture occupies a special place in the evolution of human societies in the Near East, namely that of the threshold to the emergence of farming communities. The idea that the Natufians were the earliest farmers is as old as the original discovery of the cultural remains by Garrod. What seemed at the time an intuitive suggestion is now considered the right interpretation. The shift from hunting and gathering with some horticulture to a true farming economy seems a logical continuum (2).
After Jericho Shuqba Village is believed to be one of if not the oldest village in Palestine. The many ruins around Shuqba are proof of these very ancient beginnings. Shuqba was first inhabited during the the Natufian era. The Natufian Culture is defined by an assemblage which includes microlithic components of complex tools. Natufians may have moved within a territory to exploit their resources most effectively but they certainly maintained base villages (3).
(1) A New Mesolithic Industry: The Natufian of Palestine by Dorothy Garrod (1932)
(2) The Natufian Culture and the Origin of the Neolithic in the Levant by O. Bar-Yosef and F. Valla
(3) The Natufian in the Levant by Anna Belfer-Cohen (1991)
The Natufian Culture in the Levant: Threshold to the Origins of Agriculture by Ofer Bar-Yosef