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35 - Hilazon Tachtit Cave, a Late Natufian Burial Site in the Western Lower Galilee, Israel

from Part III: - Archaeology of Human Evolution

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 May 2017

Yehouda Enzel
Affiliation:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Ofer Bar-Yosef
Affiliation:
Harvard University, Massachusetts
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Summary

Hilazon Tachtit is located in a small karstic cave half-way down the steep northern embankment of Wadi Hilazon in the Lower Galilee, northern Israel. It is one of the earliest specialized burial sites in the southern Levant. The artefacts associated with the human remains provide evidence that a wide range of activities took place in the cave including flint knapping, animal butchery, food preparation and consumption. Although many of the cultural remains appear mundane in nature, they were deposited as part of meaningful ritual events. This is especially true of the animal remains, such as tortoises and gazelles, whose large numbers, unique age profiles, and butchery patterns display strong evidence for feasting. In this cave a special woman, a shaman, was interred with unique grave inclusions. This burial, at the base of the first structure, may have given the cave symbolic and ritual values that served as an incentive to bury future dead alongside her.
Type
Chapter
Information
Quaternary of the Levant
Environments, Climate Change, and Humans
, pp. 303 - 306
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2017

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References

Belfer-Cohen, A. & Goring-Morris, N.A. 2013. Breaking the mold: Phases and facies in the Natufian of the Mediterranean Zone. In Natufian Foragers in the Levant, ed. Bar-Yosef, O. & Valla, F.R.. Ann Arbor: International Monographs in Prehistory, pp. 544–61.Google Scholar
Dubreuil, L. & Grosman, L. 2009. Ochre and hide-working at a Natufian burial place. Antiquity 83: 935–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dubreuil, L. & Grosman, L. 2013. The life history of macrolithic tools at Hilazon Tachtit cave. In Natufian Foragers in the Levant, ed. Bar-Yosef, O. & Valla, F.R.. Ann Arbor: International Monographs in Prehistory, pp. 527–43.Google Scholar
Grosman, L. & Munro, N.D. 2007. The sacred and the mundane: Domestic activities at a Late Natufian burial site in the Levant. Before Farming 4: 114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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