Before Farming

Late Natufian Nahal Oren and its satellite sites

some regional & ceremonial aspects

Before Farming (2011), 2011, (3), 1–16.

Abstract

The discovery of new small Late Natufian sites around Nahal Oren is discussed in this paper. The central site, Nahal Oren, comprises a cave and a terrace of which the latter served mainly as a large Late Natufian graveyard. The common denominator of the central site, the new satellite sites and Usba cave (another nearby previously tested site), are the stone mortars. At the Nahal Oren central site they are a prominent feature in the graveyard. Here is the highest density of boulder mortars reported for any Natufian site and the largest number of pierced boulder mortars. In all the surrounding sites, bedrock mortars are present, either in the cave or on the associated terrace (and in one case in both). We thus explore the possibility that at the area of Lower Nahal Oren there was a complex landscape use during the Late Natufian, so far not reported for any set of Natufian sites in the Mediterranean Levant. It consisted of a central site that was used for burial and social events, surrounded by smaller sites that may be interpreted in several ways reflecting past social behaviour.

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Nadel, Dani

Rosenberg, Danny