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Chapter 6: Neolithic 4 HAZOREA (Pages 459-460)

Pre-History and Archaeology Glossary

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Five Neolithic 4 sites have been found spaced at intervals along a terrace below Mount Carmel near Hazorea. They are Site I, IIA, or Tell Kiri, IIB or Hazorea, IIIA or Ein Jarba and IIIB or Tell Abu Zureig. The terrace overlooks the Plain of Esdraelon and is cut by several streams. There is also a line of springs at its foot so since the the soil is fertile the place was most favourable for farming settlements.

These sites were occupied in Neolithic 4 but probably not at exactly the same time since they are so close together. Several were also inhabited in later periods. Their material remains, known through surface collection and excavation, are similar to those from other sites in western Palestine with the exception of certain local idiosyncracies in the pottery. These probably reflect the geographical seperation of these sites from those on the coastal plain. Tell Kiri ws sounded by Perrot while he and Anati have excavated Tell Abu Zureig. Both found a range of painted, burnished and incised pottery quite similar to that from Wadi Rabah and Batashi as well as typical Neolithic 4 assemblages of flint tools. Anati's collection of pottery was unusually varied in decoration although the shapes of the vessels were similar to those found on other sites. This was partly because he found much more material than excavators of other sites in western Palestine.

Three pieces of obsidian have been analysed from one of the Hazorea sites. One piece came from Ciftlik (2b) and the other two from Nemrut Dag (4c) and source 1g in eastern Turkey.

The material from the earliest phase of Ein Jarba, phase IV, resembled that of the other Neolithic 4 sites at Hazorea and elswhere in western Palestine. The later phases of occupation fell within the Chalcolithic. The only building remains found in phase IV were several straight stone walls. These had probably belonged to rectangular houses of the type found in phases II and III which had been destroyed when these later structures were built. There were also traces of a plaster floor, a hearth, and seven small pits dug into the subsoil.

Most of the finds from Ein Jerba were more typical of the Chalcolithic in Palestine than Neolithic 4 although the flints also resembled those of Neolithique Recent Byblos and some of the pottery was characteristic of a late stage of Neolithic 4. Several of the jars had bow rims or flared necks while a number of the bowls were carinated; there were also several dishes with flared sides. These vessels were decorated with red paint or wash which was often burnished. Some of the small bowls and other vessels were coloured black or brown and burnished to a high polish. Incised decoration was also common. The motifs included combing, wavy lines, herringbones, nail impressions and stab marks. All of these features were characteristic of pottery from other Neolithic 4 sites in western Palestine. Several pots had applied designs while one in particular was decorated with two anthropomorphic figures.

Two samples, one of charcoal and the other of bone, have been dated by carbon 14. The result of the charcoal determination was 3740 +/- 140 BC and the bone one 2970 +/- 240 BC. The bone determination was obtained from a very small amount of collagen which may account for the date being so recent. The charcoal date would fit the context very well, reinforcing the evidence from the material remains that the site was occupied late in Neolithic 4 ...

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