Gilgal: Early Neolithic Occupations in the Lower Jordan Valley: The Excavations of Tamar Noy (American School of Prehistoric Research Monograph)

9780391042261: Gilgal: Early Neolithic Occupations in the Lower Jordan Valley: The Excavations of Tamar Noy (American School of Prehistoric Research Monograph)
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The Gilgal sites, as surveyed, tested, and excavated from 1973 until 1994 by the late Tamar Noy, who served as the Curator of Prehistory in the Israel Museum, are of great importance since their study directly relates to the study of the crucial period when the transition to agriculture occurred in the Levant. Currently, various archaeological data reflects this socio-economic transition, but its study still requires additional, well-recovered and properly dated data sets. With the advancement of field and laboratory research across the entire Levant, there is a burgeoning demand for detailed information. Issues concerning the earliest intentional cultivation and its impact on a suite of chosen plants, the emergence of villages larger than the preceding Natufian compounds and hamlets, the changes in building materials and house plans, the first appearance of special buildings for rituals, and the spatial distributions of these features in the Levant all require further investigation. In this regional inquiry, the Jordan Valley occupies a portion of the so-called "Levantine Corridor." Every excavation, be it small or large scale, contributes to the accumulation of knowledge that illuminates the role of this valley in comparison to other major geographic features such as the Damascus Basin or the Euphrates Valley. Through the years, while excavating the nearby Neolithic mound of Netiv Hagdud, the editors of this work were able to visit Tamar Noy while she was digging at Gilgal. Following the new trends in archaeology, recovery methods have improved over the years and have recently, facilitated the study of the main site, Gilgal I. Comprising the main parts of this volume are the stratigraphy, architecture, lithics, bone, art objects, marine shells, and bead assemblages from this site, as well as the associated sites of Gilgal II and III, two reports on the plant remains, and a fuller one on the animal bone collections. A chapter has also been added from a paper previously published by T. Noy and S. Kozlowski that reports a special find, i.e., a basket of lithics. The report on Gilgal II, a Late Natufian site, was also included in this volume, as it represents both Tamar Noy's fieldwork, as well as her range of interests concerning the emergence of agriculture in the Levant.

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