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Chapter 5: Neolithic 3 Hagosherim (Page 354-355)

Pre-History and Archaeology Glossary

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Hagosherim lies between two streams at the northern end of the upper Jordan valley. Like Beisamun the site was discovered when fishponds were being made. Most of the material was collected from the fishponds and the surface of the site but some was found in an excavation which is as yet unpublished. The site covered several hectares but no substantial structures were found on it.

All the arrowheads from Hagosherim were tanged and some were pressure-flaked. One had a stubby tang defined by a pair of notches and another pair of notches on the shaft. Another was an Amuq [Valley] 2 arrowhead with a swollen tang. Most of the sickle blades were segmented and some were backed; some had nibbled or finely-denticulated cutting edges, others coarse denticulation. The most distinctive artifacts were the numerous flaked axes and chisels, some of which were partly polished. Some were oval or almond-shaped, others D-shaped, sub-rectangular or trapezoidal.

Most of the pottery from the site was a medium or soft-fired ware with a reddish or brown surface. The fabric was tempered with many grits and much chopped straw. Some of the vessels were jars with lug or strap handles. There were also flat-bottomed dishes and bowls with splayed sides. A few of the vessels were decorated with red paint or burnished. One of the thinner bowl sherds had been coloured black and burnished.

Several of the querns from Hagosherim were the open-ended stepped type and others were simple saddle querns. Many rubbers were found there and also grooved pebbles and stone ornaments. Some bone borers were also recovered from the site.

The stepped querns, notched arrowhead and some of the tanged arrowheads all belong in a Neolithic 2 context so Hagosherim must first have been occupied then. The other flint tools compare closely with Neolithique Ancien Byblos and the Bekaa [Valley] sites as well as Beisamun and the neighbouring surface stations in the upper Jordan valley. Some of the axes particularly the D-shaped ones and sickle blades are very like examples from Tell Ramad Levels II and III and the dark burnished sherds also match sherds from Tell Ramad III. These comparisons suggest that Hagosherim was occupied for much of Neolithic 3. It should be noted that most of the pottery is unlike that found on the Bekaa [Valley] sites or at Kfar Giladi. It is unburnished and quite coarse, traits it shares with the earliest Neolithic pottery from Jericho which I shall discuss later.

Before leaving Hagosherim we should note that some of the flints seem later in type than those found on stratified Neolithic 3 sites. It may be that Hagosherim was occupied in a later stage of the Neolithic or even the Chalcolithic ...

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