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Chapter 6: Neolithic 4 (Pages 462-465)


Pre-History and Archaeology Glossary

Excerpts and Definitions and Addendums:

Abu Usba is a cave high up in the south side of the Wadi Fallah not far from the site of Nahal Oren. Two of the upper layers here, B1 and B2, contained material from several periods. Lunates with Helwan retouch, segmented denticulated arrowheads, tanged arrowheads and Neoithic pottery were all mixed together. Stekelis who excavated the site thought that the material was associated and called this heterogeneous culture Usbian. Albright who added his comments to the original report pointed out that the layers must have been mixed and that the cave had been occupied in several periods. Some of the sickle blades and pottery, particularly some of the sherds with red wash and incised decoration, are Late Neolithic but we do not know in which stage the site was inhabited.

Rakafet cave on the other side of Mount Carmel from Abu Usba was also occupied during the late Neolithic though we do not yet know when. Sahl Khoussin is west of the road to Jenin opposite Samaria. A collection of flints was made from this site which included axes and adzes, some of them with polished edges, picks, flake scrapers, borers and segmented sickle blades. From the sickle blades and adzes I have seen in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where part of the collection is deposited it is clear that the site was occupied in the Late Neolithic but in the absence of pottery one cannot say during which stage. Neuville likened some of the material to the Campignian which suggests that the site was similar to many of the surface stations in southern Lebanon. The wide range of tools found suggest that this was a settlement like Tahun ben Aissa and Amuq I rather than simply a factory site.

Neuville noted another site in the Wadi Nimrin in the hills east of the Jordan Valley on the road to Amman. A collection of flints from here included small tanged arrowheads like those from Tauamin, a site which I have ascribed to Neolithic 3.

Many Late Neolithic surface sites have been discovered on or near the coast of Palestine. Mallon reported that he found many flints over a considerable area extending 12 kilometres north along the coast from Jaffa. His collection included flint tools made in several periods which must have come from a number of stations given the extent of the survey. He found some denticulated, segmented sickle blades as well as tanged arrowheads and axes and adzes with polished cutting edges, some of which were probably Late Neolithic also. Neuville surveyed north of Jaffa and as far as 10 kilometres south of the town. He found more flint artifacts of several periods some of which were Late Neolithic. The most diagnostic tools were denticulated, segmented sickle blades but he, like Mallon, also collected axes and chisels, some with polished cutting edges, picks and small tanged arrowheads many of which were probably made in the Late Neolithic.

Mallon collected more flints from another large surface scatter 4 kilometres south of Ramla. Once again he found flints of different periods which probably came from several locations. Among them were segmented, denticulated sickle blades of Late Neolithic type.

Burian and Friedmann have found numerous Late Neolithic surface stations in the coastal dunes between Hadera and Ashdod. They collected small pressure-flaked tanged and winged arrowheads of Late Neolithic type from site 26A just north of the Nahal Alexnder, a station which had been used in Neolithic 2. Site 18CH just north of the Nahal Poleg near its mouth yielded denticulated, segmented sickle blades as did 18T immediately to the south-west beside the river. More denticulated, segmented sickle blades and small tanged and winged arrowheads were collected at 18N on the south bank of the river at its mouth.

Burian and Friedmann located three more Late Neolithic stations between Rishon Zon and the sea in an area which may overlap with Neuville's Jaffa explorations. Denticulated, segmented sickle blades and small tanged and winged arrowheads were collected from 33/0 near the sea and similar tools from 33N further east. More tools of the same kind were found at 33CH immediately south-west of 33/0.

Four more stations were discovered between the Nahal Sorek and Nahal Lachish. They were from north to south 64, 64B, 62/0 and 62I. Denticulated, segmented sickle blades were found on all of them and sherds of coarse pottery at 64 and 64B. Several trapezoidal flints axes were picked up at 62/0. This site, 62/I and 64 had previously been inhabited in Neolithic 2.

Four other sites in southern Palestine were probably occupied during the Late Neolithic. Tell Hesy is one, the evidence for which being some segmented, coarsely denticulated sickle blades which Bliss found when he excavated at the site. Another is Farasheh on the south bank of the Wadi Ghazzeh, the exact location of which is no longer known. Stekelis found some denticulated, segmented sickle blades and small flake awls here in 1943 which were deposited in the Palestine Archaeological Museum. The same museum holds a collection of flints from Harbish which was probably situated near Khan Yunis. This site may have been discovered by Harding who explored the region before and during the Second World War. Among the flints were denticulated, segmented sickle blades, tanged arrowheads, a pick and some flake scrapers that were probably made in the Late Neolithic. Tanged and winged arrowheads of Late Neolithic type as well as flints of other periods were found at site 82 in the Halutza dunes. The only evidence of Late Neolithic activity further south known to me is the find by Rothenberg of a single characteristic tanged arrowhead at site 461 in Sinai ...

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