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Mugharet Wad Cave in Israel

Selected Excerpt on Mugharet Wad Cave

The Neolithic of the Levant by A.M.T. Moore (Oxford University) (1978)

Chapter 3: Neolithic 1 Mugharet Wad (Page 106)

Mugharet Wad Cave (Cave of the Valley)

This is the largest of the Mount Carmel Caves. The accumulated layers provide evidence of human presence from the end of the occupation of the Tabun Cave (approximately 45000 years ago).

Important finds from this cave are of the Natufian Culture (10500 to 8500 BC), a highly developed culture relative to those preceding it. It signals the transition from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic cultures, from plant gathering and animal hunting to plant growing and animal domestication. During this period, the level of the Mediterranean Sea rose again, as the glacial period came to an end and the coastline stabilized to roughly its present contours. The Coastal Plain became narrower and was covered by sparse forest and grasslands with swamps in low lying areas. The number of animal species had declined and consisted mainly of gazelles and wild cattle.

The population of the El Wad cave used both the cave and the broad terrace in front of it. The settlement is believed to have been permanent, a unique development in terms of previous lifestyles in the caves. It consisted of a few families living in a tent village which served as the base for hunting expeditions and food gathering ...

SOURCE: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium