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Loci, Graves, and Areas, each with its own stratigraphic sequence. Loci are bounded by low circular walls of undressed stone. Nine loci (3-11) have been identified, but Loci 9, 10, and 11 have only been partly excavated. Open spaces, designated Areas 201-206, are situated between and on top of the loci. Though areas lack the spatial integrity and distinct architecture of loci, they are characterized by independent sequences of archaeological layers. Most but not all of the areas cap deposits in the loci, and most represent later stages of Natufian occupation in the cave. Seventeen graves were also excavated, but faunal remains from only a few are included in this study (Graves X-XII and XTV-XVII). Several graves were dug into earlier Mousterian, Aurignacian, and Kebaran deposits in the cave causing mixing in the fill. Those graves with potentially mixed fills are excluded from the sample.
Each layer from loci, areas, and graves is assigned to one of five chronological phases (Belfer-Cohen 1988). The phases are used here mainly to examine relative change in the use of the site over time. The phase assignments are based purely on stratigraphic relationships between archaeological layers and are independent of cultural markers recovered from the fill. The Phases are numbered from I to V, with Phase I representing the earliest Natufian occupation in the cave and Phase V the latest. The temporal relationship between the phases is relative, as they have not been dated using absolute methods. Thus, attempts to link spatially segregated areas of the site may prove difficult.
As a final note, the stratigraphy of Locus 10 and Grave XVII, which were excavated during a renewed field project in the cave during the 1990s, have not yet been linked with deposits uncovered during the original excavations. They certainly belong to the Early Natufian occupation, but to which of the first three phases is unclear. The layers from these two areas therefore receive a phase designation of I-III, and will be collapsed with data from the Early Natufian phases of occupation in some later analyses.
Besides loci and graves, the Natufians built other kinds of features at Hayonim Cave. Built hearths were found in most fiilly excavated Loci (see Figure 3.6). Slab-lined floors were laid in Loci 4, 5, and 7 and Graves V and XI, and a small lime kiln was identified in Locus 4 (Bar-Yosef 1991). Three caches dating to the Late Natufian phase were also found along the easternmost wall of the cave. One cache contained a stash of large bovid ribs, several of which had been worked into preforms for sickle handles; the second held groundstone pestles; and the third was filled with numerous unworked male gazelle horn cores and Dentalium shells (Bar-Yosef 1991).
The Natufian layer at Hayonim Cave contains one of the richest, most diverse Paleolithic assemblages in the southern Levant (see Table 3.3). The lithic assemblage is characterized by single platform cores used primarily for flake production, though most Natufian tools were manufactured from blades. The microburin technique is exceedingly rare. Common tool types include burins, notches, denticulates, geometries, borers, backed pieces, bifacial tools, sickle blades, and picks (Belfer-Cohen 1988). The bone tool assemblage is also diverse. It is primarily comprised of awls, spatulates, bone points, and gorgets used for a variety of activities including hide-working, sewing and weaving, hunting, and possibly even fishing (Campana 1991). Several modified bones also served ornamental or possibly ritual functions. Recovered primarily from human burials, beads
the distal tibiotarsi of partridges, and fox canines (Belfer-Cohen 1988; Pichon 1983).
Decorative plaquettes with hatched incisions were manufactured from thin, flat bones and antler fragments. Flat limestone slabs incised with geometric, ladder-like patterns were also found in both loci and graves (Bar-Yosef and Belfer-Cohen 1999; Belfer-Cohen 1988).
Table 33: Table of major artifact classes for five phase of occupation at Hayonim Cave. Data from all artifact classes except fauna compiled from Belfer-Cohen (1988). The counts include only material recovered from the original Natufian excavations during the 1960s and 1970s. For the Early and Late Natufian summary, the numbers outside of parentheses are total frequencies for each artifact class, while the numbers in parentheses are density values (n/m^ excavated sediment). The lithic tool class includes only selected categories, which are shown in more detail in Chapter 9.
Hayonim Terrace Hayonim Terrace is a large open-air site covering more than 1000 square meters (Bar-Yosef and Goren 1973). Both Early and Late Natufian occupations are present at the site, which is located directly outside the mouth of Hayonim Cave. Hayonim Cave and Terrace have usually been treated as separate entities, because there is no continuous stratigraphy linking the two areas. They also have different excavation histories.
Typological analysis of the respective faunal assemblages indicates that at least portions
Figure 3.7: Plan of Hayonim Terrace and Cave showing the location of Bar-Yosef s Natufian excavations at Hayonim Cave, and Henry and Valla's excavations on the Terrace (adapted from Valla et al.
Hayonim Terrace was excavated on three separate occasions by different teams.
The first work there was done by Bar-Yosef, Arensburg, and Tchemov in association with the testing of Hayonim Cave in 1966 and 1969. Two test trenches on the upper terrace revealed evidence for a Natufian occupation. Although both were unquestionably
another (Bar-Yosef and Goren 1973). Following testing, Bar-Yosef and his team opted to excavate the cave, and invited Donald Henry from the University of Tulsa to excavate the Terrace (Bar-Yosef 1991).
Henry began a formal excavation at Hayonim Terrace in 1974, and completed the project the following season (Henry and Davis 1974; Henry and Leroi-Gourhan 1976;
Henry et al. 1981). His objectives included the reconstruction of environmental conditions, subsistence strategies, and cultural chronology, and establishment of the relationship between the Natufian and the preceding Geometric Kebaran Period. Henry first opened an 8 x 1 meter trench and subsequently a larger 5x7 meter area (Area A) that was separated from the test trench by a 1 meter baulk (Henry and Davis 1974; see Figure 3.7). Both the trench and Area A contained Early Natufian deposits and an underlying Geometric Kebaran component.
The most recent excavations at Hayonim Terrace, which provided the data for this study, were initiated by Francois Valla in 1980. Work continued for seven seasons between 1980 and 1989 (Valla et al. 1989, 1991). Valla's 36 square meter sounding was located at the northwestern end of the Terrace, approximately 10 meters from Henry's trench (see Figure 3.7). The excavations exposed three layers of archaeological deposits, Niveaux (Levels) I-III. Niveau I represents mixed material from Natufian and probably a later PPNA occupation on the Terrace. Niveau II is a clean layer of Natufian deposits, and Niveau III is predominantly Natufian. The latter, however is partially mixed with a small Geometric Kebaran component, likely an extension of the much larger
Figure 3.8: Plan of Franfois Valla's excavations of Hayonim Terrace (adapted from Valla et al.
those from the cave were found on the terrace, a few walls and structures as well as a single slab-lined pit interpreted as a storage chamber were identified (Valla et al. 1989;
see Figure 3.8). Valla's excavations also uncovered six shallow graves, some with multiple individuals. Of particular interest is one that contained two humans, two canids, two tortoise shells, and two gazelle horn cores; this grave is frequently cited as evidence of dog domestication in the Natufian period (Tchemov and Valla 1997). No ornaments were recovered from any of the Hayonim Terrace burials. The lithic assemblage from Valla's excavations on the Terrace is rich in notches, denticulates, burins, and geometric
but this is not unlike the Late Natufian in Hayonim Cave; microburin technique, on the other hand, is much more common on the Terrace than in the Cave (Bar-Yosef and Belfer-Cohen n.d.).
Hilazon Tachtit Hilazon Tachtit is a Natufian cave site located approximately 7 kilometers southeast of Hayonim Cave. Only 14 kilometers west of the Sea of Galilee, and a few kilometers east of the coastal plain, the site is situated within the Mediterranean zone.
The site is located in the middle of a steep limestone ridge 150 meters above the Wadi Hilazon (Figures 3.9 and 3.10). The cave itself is comprised of two small intact chambers formed by karstic activity within the Yanuch limestone formation, dating to the Cenomanian of the Cretaceous Era (Grosman n.d.). Evidence of prehistoric occupation in the Wadi Hilazon was noted by Bar-Yosef and Valla during a survey of the valley in the late 1960s. In 1994 Berger and Khalaily returned to the site and collected artifacts of Mousterian, Kebaran, and Natufian origin from colluvial deposits just below the mouth of the cave (Grosman n.d.). The first excavations took place in the summer of 1995 under the direction of Grosman and Berger. Two additional field seasons were undertaken in the summers of 1997 and 2000 under the sole direction of Grosman. A fourth field season in the summer of 2001 is not reported here. A radiocarbon date on charcoal from Natufian layer has recently yielded a date of 10,750±150 B.P. The presence of short lunates and a low incidence of Helwan retouch, also suggests that the site dates to the end of the Late Natufian phase.
Figure 3.9: View of Hilazon Tachtit Cave.
The archaeological deposits at Hilazon Tachtit were capped by a 1.3 meter-thick layer of dung, that had been deposited by goat herds wintering at the site in recent years.
During the 1997 season, the site was vandalized and the dung set on fire. The fire smoldered through the winter, and the team returned the following year to find die thick dung layer reduced entirely to ashes. Fortunately, the fire did not affect the archaeological deposits, which were protected by an additional 1.5 meter thick deposit containing the residue of past bums by historic herders. Some ceramic sherds, probably of Byzantine origin, were recovered from these burned layers, and some migrated into the Natufian deposit below. At the base of the dung layer a thin, black, greasy layer of sediment sealed the top of the Natufian deposits. Fourier-transform Infrared (FTDR.) analysis indicates" that this layer is extremely rich in organic matter, deposited after the Natufian occupation but before use of the cave by herders (L. Grosman, personal communication 2000). The top of the Natufian layer at Hilazon Tachtit begins at a depth of approximately 2.95 meters and is characterized by a homogenous dark, oily sediment and very good macroscopic bone preservation. A number of human burials are distributed throughout the fill. Many are disturbed, perhaps due to leveling of the Natufian deposits by visitors to the cave in historic times. Though architectural features on the scale of those found at Ain Mallaha or Hayonim Cave have not been recovered at Hilazon Tachtit, two distinct circular structures (Loci 1 and 2; see Figures 3.11 and 3.12) enclose areas rich in lithic and faunal debris. Human remains are found both within these areas and outside of them.
The lithic assemblage from Hilazon Tachtit is comprised primarily of geometric and non-geometric microliths, retouched flakes, and notches. The microburin technique is absent, as are lunates with Helwan retouch. The lunates at Hilazon Tachtit are backed and very short on average (16.4 millimeters). The small groundstone assemblage (n = 17) is composed of mullers, pestles, and a single mortar. Although, the bone tool industry is dominated by awls and bone points, a needle was also recovered. A single unusual animal tooth pendant was also found. It is the lower camassial tooth of a canid pierced through both roots. The tooth is of special interest due to claims for the domestication of the dog in the Natufian period. Dentalium from the Mediterranean Sea and other typical Natufian ornaments were also recovered at Hilazon.
Figure 3.12; Plan of 2000 excavations at Hilazon Tachtit, courtesy of L.
el-Wad el-Wad Cave is the largest of the three large caverns in the Mount Carmel cave group. The caves are situated at the southern extent of the Mount Carmel ridge, a
Mediterranean Sea shore (see Figure 3.13). This area is an ecotone located at the junction between the coastal plain and Mediterranean zones. el-Wad sits 45 meters above sea level on a 12.5 meter escarpment just above the coastal plain and adjacent to the Wadi elMughara (Garrod and Bate 1937). Behind the cave, the limestone ridge rises to the north and west to a maximum height of 546 meters. The ridge and wadi host a thriving canopy of Mediterranean maquis and pine forest (Weinstein-Evron 1998). Today, the climate at el-Wad is much the same as it is further north at Hayonim Cave, but with slightly heavier seasonal precipitation each year (600 to 800 millimeters). el-Wad is a multi-chambered cavern widest at its entrance but quickly narrowing into a long passage that extends 70 meters into the hillside. Though the passage is generally narrow it widens into "chambers" at locations numbered from I to V by Garrod in 1929 (see Figure 3.14).