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Archaeological Sources for the Study of Palestine: The Chalcolithic Period Author(s): Thomas E.

Levy Source: The Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. 49, No. 2 (Jun., 1986), pp. 82-108 Published by: The American Schools of Oriental Research Stable URL: Accessed: 20/08/2009 20:37
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A hoard of prestige items was discovered in 1958 in subterranean chamber 721 at Bir es-Safedi near Beer-sheba. They were deposited in a small circular pit that had been dug in the floor of the chamber and partially covered by a large stone. A basalt vessel was found turned upside down, while another was on its side with the vase's opening resting against the wall of the pit. Four ivory objects in the hoard include what may be a ceremonial sickle, a male figurine, a decorated box, and the head of another statuette. Courtesy of J. Perrot and Centre de Recherche Francais de Jerusalem.





One of the most enigmatic features of Chalcolithic settlements is the presence of subterranean tunnel and room networks in the Negeb Desert. This tunnel leads down to a subterraneanroom at Bir es-Safedi.Photographby A. Wolk,courtesy of Centrede RechercheFrancaisde Jerusalem.

E. Levy by Thomas
T hereis growing evidence


Archaeological Sources for the History of Palestine

that during the late fifth and fourth millennia B.C. significant technological and social changes occurredamong societies living in Palestine. Some of these new developments can be seen in the establishment of formal temples and burial grounds,the emergence of craft speciali7ation and metallurgy,a dramaticgrowth in the human population of the region, and the division of sites into spatial hierarchies with settlement centers that coordinatedsocial, economic, and religious activities. These formative developments had direct bearing on the structure of Levantinesocieties in the following historic periods. In archaeologicalterms this protohistoric period, dating roughly from 4500 to 3200 B.C., is called the Chalcolithic period. In this paper several anthropologicalconcepts will be used to help explain these new developments during the Chalcolithic age and place them within a social framework. The term Chalcolithic (fromthe Greek chalkos or copper and lithos or stone) grew out of the Three Age System, which was put forwardby the Danish antiquariansChristian Thomsen and JensJacobAsmussen Worsaaeas early as 1819.This became the basic method by which museum curatorsand antiquaries set their collections in order (Renfrew 1976).By observing the remains in




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Early excavations at Teleilat el-Ghassul uncovered important evidence of what originally was called the Ghassulian, but later referred to as the Chalcolithic, culture of Palestine. The first director of the excavations, Pere Alexis Mallon, is shown here during a campaign at the site around 1930. Courtesy of the Pontifical Biblical Institute.

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the stratigraphiclevels of numerous archaeologicalsites, Worsaaeshowed that the prehistoricpast could be divided into three broadages of stone, bronze, and iron, indicating the characteristicmaterial out of which the tools of the period were made. This simple system enabled archaeologists and curatorsworking in Europeand later in the Near East to place archaeologicalfinds into their approximateperiod. Despite recent advances in radiocarbon-dating methods and refinements in subdividing the prehistoricpast, the terms Paleolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, BronzeAge, and Iron Age are still used in the Old Worldas convenient general terms of reference. History of Research During the 1920s many regions in Palestine were still primarily archaeological terraeincognitae. The chronology of the region was still unclear at that time. With the establishment of the British mandatorygovernment in 1923, the first "goldenage of and research Palestinian excavations" was born (King1983: 55). It was during this time that the chronological frameworkthat forms the basis of Palestinian archaeologytoday was first clarified.This was accomplished through widespreadexcavations and surveyscarriedout during the 1920s and 1930s (Gitin 1985). From 1929 to 1931 PereAlexis Mallon, directorof the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem,carried out some important excavations in a groupof low mounds known as Teleilat el-Ghassul, located approximately 5 kilometers from the northeast corner of the Dead Sea (Mallon, Koeppel,and Neuville 1934).There Mallon'steam found four superim-

posed strata, separatedfrom one another by burned and windblown sediments, to a depth of about 5 meters. The material culture from the four stratawas quite homogeneous and representeda single new archaeologicalculture that was termed Ghassulian (Neuville 1930a). The Ghassulian culture had a characteristic flint-tool industry with diagnostic types including the socalled fan-scraperand bifacially flaked chisels. In addition to a distinctive pottery industry,spectacular frescoes were found painted on the plasteredwalls of some structures. The original Ghassul frescoes contain geometric patterns and a depiction of a procession painted in rich combinations of red, brown, black, yellow, and white mineral paints. The best known example is the eight-pointed star of Ghassul that combines the geometric form masks and imaginary with "spook" creatures (Lee 1978). There was a great deal of controversy over the dating of the Ghassulian culture. Mallon, who died in 1934, maintained that Ghassul dated to shortly before 2000 B.C. This interpretationmay have been influenced by Mallon'sbelief that

Ghassul correspondedto the area in which Genesis 13:12locates the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:25). During the late 1920s and early 1930s artifacts similar to those recoveredat Ghassul were found at many sites in Palestine. These sites included a Galilean cave in the Wadi Shallaleh (Turville-Petre 1927);a pottery-bearinglevel of MugharetelWad,near cAthlit (Garrod1929);a series of sites along the WadiGhazzeh in the northern Negeb (Macdonald, Starkey,and Harding 1932);Megiddo and in the JezreelValley (Engberg Shipton 1934;Shipton 1938);Jericho (Garstang1935);Beth-shean (Fitzgerald 1935);and a Chalcolithic necropolis in Hadera(Sukenik 1937). It seems that William F.Albright, then directorof the American School of Oriental Researchin Jerusalem, was responsible for initiating the use of the term Chalcolithic as an archaeological-ceramicequivalent for the newly discoveredGhassulian phenomenon (Albright 1931, 1932). He arrivedat this conclusion by synthesizing the wealth of new archaeological materials excavatedfrom a wide rangeof geographiclocales in Palestine.



The term Chalcolithic was first used by William E Albright, who synthesizedthe wealth of archaeological materials excavatedfrom many sites throughoutPalestine.

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Map of the Levant. Chalcolithic sites discussed in this article are indicated by a *; sites indicated by a * are included for reference information. Although relating to cultures not present in the Chalcolithic period, general regional names are included for orientation. The shaded section on the large map at right is enlarged in the inset above.

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Thetransition Age has fromthe Chalcolithicto theEarlyBronze becauseit involvesthe originsof thefirst beenwidely discussed urbancenters. Palestinian
andTransitions Chronology
In terms of absolute chronology,the Chalcolithic period is fairly long. Accordingto the availableradiocarbon dates, the Chalcolithic period begins no later than the mid-fifth As JamesWeinstein millennium B.C. (1984:306) has noted, however,many of the assays may be too early for the late Chalcolithic era. The dates from the EarlyBronzeIa indicate that the Chalcolithic ends approximatelyin the thirty-fourthcentury B.C. More radiocarbondeterminations are urgently needed from well-stratified Chalcolithic sites to help clarify the chronology of this formative period. Today,radiocarbondating provides the main chronometric data for the protohistoric periods in Palestine. This has been highlighted by Weinstein's(1984)erudite survey of radiocarbondating in the southern Levant.Until the middle 1970s diffusionist theories were used to explain the transition from the Late Neolithic to the Chalcolithic and from the Chalcolithic to the EarlyBronze Age (deVaux 1971a,1971b;Lapp1970; Kenyon 1985;Wright 1971).In Palestine theories of diffusion centered on the assumption that cultural change could be explained as having been brought about by migrating peoples or contacts with the culture core-areasof Mesopotamia or Egypt. These contacts were viewed as having been accompanied by the transmission of new discoveries and ideas. In describingthe idea of diffusion, Colin Renfrewstated that prehistory (andprotohistory)"wasseen as a kind of global chessboard,with the various cultures as pieces shifting from squareto square.The task of the archaeologist was simply to plot the moves-or, in other words, trace the path of 'influence'as new ideas were diffused"(Renfrew1976:33). There is growing evidence that in some regions of Palestine the transitions from the Late Neolithic to Chalcolithic and the Chalcolithic to the EarlyBronzeAge occurredwithin a local context (Amiran1985;Callaway 1972;Miroschedji 1971).Although there is a paucity of published radiocarbon determinations for the Late Neolithic (8 dates), the Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic (6 dates), Chalcolithic (18dates), EarlyBronze I (25 dates), and EarlyBronzeII (26 dates) periods, some clear local evolutionary trends can be seen. In discussing the radiocarbon dates from Teleilat el-Ghassul, J. Basil Hennessy (1982:58) suggested that the lithic industry and the earliest pottery from that site indicated connections with the pottery Neolithic cultures of Jerichoand the upperphases at Ard Tlaili, Middle and Late Neolithic Byblos, and the southern Neolithic sites of the These connections, however, BeqaC. are insufficient to fit the earliest Ghassul sequence into a specific slot in the Late Neolithic/Early Chalcolithic cultures of the Levant.At Qatif, located on the Negeb Coastal Plain (Epstein 1985a),Isaac Gilead's excavations have produceda radiocarbon date of 6040 i 80 B.P. (before present),which falls at the end of the Late Neolithic period (I.Gilead, personal communication; Gopher 1986).Gilead suggests that a local Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic transition is indicated by considering this date in conjunction with the lithic and pottery assemblages (which contain large quantities of straw inclusions) from Qatif and the nearby WadiGhazzeh sites (Macdonald, Starkey,and Harding 1932;Levy and Alon 1983). The transition from the Chalcolithic to the EarlyBronzeAge has been a widely discussed topic because it involves the origins of the first Palestinian urban centers. In a recent survey of theories that attempted to explain the origin of walled towns in this region, Thomas Schaub (1982)highlighted the indigenous nature of the Chalcolithic/ EarlyBronzeAge transition. Schaub (1982:74) noted that the major argument against diffusion or foreign origin is the clear lack of foreign parallels in the material culture of the EarlyBronze Age and the lack of evidence for a route of migration to Palestine. It is possible that future excavations and surveys in Syria and will produce some evidence Jordan of diffusion. The trend today,however,is clear. To fully understandthe processes that led to urbanism and social complexity in Palestine, the social and economic dynamics of the local Chalcolithic societies must be examined in relation to the subsequent EarlyBronzeAge societies.

Chiefdoms in ChalcolithicPalestine
Following the initial period of discovery in the late 1920s, there has been a steady stream of archaeological research concerning the Chalcolithic period in Palestine but little theoretical work has been done to explain these new cultural developments. Tounderstandthe large corpus of fourth-millennium data that has accumulated over the years, a conceptual model is needed to help integrate and interpretthe developmental patterns that can be observed in the archaeologicaldata. In dealing with the prehistoric and pro-



tohistoric periods of Palestine, anthropological models such as the ones suggested by Elman R. Service (1962),Morton Fried (1967),and Marshall Sahlins (1974)serve as a useful point of departure.These researchersused ethnographicdata to suggest successive stages in the social evolution of man. I would like to suggest that in some regions of the country many of the innovative developments observed in Chalcolithic Palestine can be explained as reflections of the development of social ranking and hierarchies.Accordingto the terminology suggested by Service, the beginnings of social ranking are associated with the emergence of a distinctive social system that he called chiefdoms. Accordingto Service, "chiefdomsare particularlydistinguished from tribes by the presence of centers which coordinate economic, social and religious activities" (1962: 143).Chiefdoms are characterizedby institutionalized offices of leadership such as priesthoods. ChristopherPeebles and Susan Kus (1977:422) suggested that the gradationof social rank in chiefdoms is not a smooth progression from the lowest to the highest ranking individual. In chiefdoms the chief and his lineage, and perhaps other closely related lineages, are qualitatively distinguished from the rest of society. The "officeand the person of the chief and of his nearest kinsmen are markedby sumptuary rules, distinctive ways of dress, prescribed modes of behavior, and, usually, compulsory ritual behavior" (Peeblesand Kus 1977:422). The materialcorrelates, or archaeological clues, for the presence of chiefdoms in the archaeological recordhave been outlined by Renfrew (1973:543). Some of these correlates include greaterpopulation density and total number in the population; increase in the size of individual residence groups;greaterproductivity; more clearly defined territorial boundaries or borders;centers that

Researchers usedethnographic data to suggest successive stagesin thesocialevolutionof man.

coordinate social, religious, as well as economic activity; rise of priesthoods; a rankedsociety; the redistribution of produce organizedby the chief; an environmental situation favoringspecialization in production over some ecological diversity; specialization, not only regional or ecological but also through the pooling of individual skills in large cooperative endeavors;organizationand deployment of public labor for agricultural work (forexample, irrigation) or for building temples and temple mounds; potential for territorial expansion-associated with the "rise and fall"of chiefdoms; distinctive dress or ornament for those of high status; and no true government to back up decisions by legalized force. As Renfrew(1973:543)noted, the strength of this model is that it implies the co-occurrenceof many of these features.As will be shown below, many of these features have been documented for Chalcolithic Palestine. Regional Cultural Groups One of the most striking features of the Chalcolithic period in Palestine in relation to the chiefdom model is the emergence of distinct regional cultures. This is particularly apparent when the distribution of fourthmillennium artifact assemblages and sites are comparedwith all the precedingprehistoric periods when regional diversity was not very pronounced (Bar-Yosef 1980).As outlined above,the distinct archaeological groups of the Chalcolithic period may represent specific adaptations to the mosaic of local environments that characterizePalestine. In the north of the country four primary regional groupshave been isolated: the Golan Heights (Epstein 1977, 1979, 1985b);the SharonCoastal Plain (Sukenik 1937;Perrot 1961); the SamarianHighlands (deVaux and Steve 1947);and the Jezreel/ Beth-sheanvalleys (Anati, Avnimelech, Haas,andMeyerhof1973;Dothan 1959a;Tzori 1958).In the south of Palestine approximatelyseven regional and subregionalgroupshave been isolated. These include the Jordan Valley/AmmonPlateau (Hennessy 1969;Ibrahim,Sauer,and Yassine 1976;R. Lee 1973;Mallon, Koeppel, and Neuville 1934; Stekelis 1935), the JudeanDesert (Bar-Adon 1962; Benoit, Milik, and de Vaux 1961; Neuville and Mallon 1931),the Negeb/Sinai Coastal Plain (Macdonald, Starkey,and Harding 1932;Oren and Gilead 1981),the Nahal Gerar (Alon 1960;Oren and Gilead 1982, 1983, 1984),the Nahal Patish (Alon 1960, 1976, 1977),the Nahal Beersheba (Perrot1955, 1984;Dothan 1959b;Levy 1981;Levy and Alon 1983),and the southern Sinai peninsula (Bar-Yosef, Belfer,Goren, and Smith 1977).As Emmanuel Anati (1963:296) pointed out, most of these southern Chalcolithic "provinces"are no greaterthan about 25 miles (approximately40 kilometers) in length and represent separatecultural areas far smaller than later archaeological culture areas. Planned Farming-Villages The emergence of centers for coordinating social, economic, and religious activities is clearly seen in the establishmentof plannedfarmingcommunities. Although sedentary village-life was established in the Neolithic period and perhapsas early it was during the Chalcolithic that
as the Natufian (around 9000 B.c.),



Chalcolithic houses with courtyardsmark the beginning of a village pattern that is similar in layout to the traditional, modern villages of the Middle East. An example is the village plan of tell 1, level 4, at This bar graphshows the number of prehisTeleilat el-Ghassul in the JordanValley.Drawing is from Yohanan toric and protohistoricsites along the Nahal Beer-sheba/lower Nahal Besorin the northern Aharoni'sThe Archaeologyof the Landof Israel,used courtesy of The WestminsterPress. Negeb in relation to their size in hectares.



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large, advancedfarming-villagesfirst Ghassul, by far the largest Chalcolithic site in Palestine, covers an area emerged in Palestine. In many respects the emergence of Chalcolithic of approximately20 hectares, wherehouses with courtyardsmarks the as the averageLate Neolithic site in beginning of a village pattern similar the western Negeb is less than 2 hectin layout to the traditional, modern ares in area (Levy1981). villages of the Middle East (Kramer Hennessy's (1982)excavationsinin the This is best seen dicate that Ghassul was not a group large1982). scale excavations at Teleilat elof small, closely tied settlements Ghassul (Mallon,Koeppel,and representedby the numerous small Neuville 1934;Koeppeland others mounds there but was one large setNorth tlement. The excavations by Alexis 1940;Hennessy 1969; 1961), Tell el-Farcah North (deVauxand Mallon, RobertKoeppel,and their Tell Abu Steve 1948;de Vaux 1961), coworkers(Mallon,Koeppel,and Bir Neuville Matar (Perrot1955), es-Safedi 1934;Koeppeland others 1940)providethe most extensive vil(Perrot1984),HorvatBeter (Dothan 1959b),and Shiqmim (Levyand Alon lage plans from Ghassul. At tell 1, for example, large rectangularbuild1985a),which provideexcellent ings (measuringabout 6 by 12 meters) plans of these advancedfarmingin a symmetrical were found arranged villages. fashion. The buildings were densely Comparedwith sites from the precedingNeolithic period (Bar-Yosef packed and situated in conjunction 1977;Moore 1973),the Chalcolithic with courtyards,small storagerooms, ovens (called tabuns in Arabic),alleyvillages are much larger.This is or bar ways, and other features.At the highlighted in the histogram chart of LateNeolithic, Chalcolithic, Negeb site of Shiqmim, one of the and EarlyBronze sites from the largest Chalcolithic villages in western Palestine (about9.5 hectares), northern Negeb region. Teleilat el-

excavations have revealeda remarkably similar pattern. There is a clear distinction between small domestic houses (approximately2.5 by 5.5 meters) and largerbuildings (about 5 by 10 meters) that may have served some kind of public function (Levy and Alon 1985a).The layout of these sites suggests the presence of a central authority who organizedthe public labor needed to build these planned settlements. More work needs to be done in the Golan to clarify the full rangeof architectural variability at Chalcolithic sites before social inferences can be made in that region. Perhapsthe most enigmatic aspect of Chalcolithic settlement patterns in Palestine is the presence of subterraneantunnel and room networks in the northern Negeb Desert. These subterraneanchambers seem to be confined to a cluster of sites aroundthe city of Beer-shebaand include Tell Abu Matar (Perrot1955), Bires-Safedi(Perrot1984),and Horvat Beter (Rosenand Eldar 1982).The




sectorsof these sociandproductive eties havebeencalledby anthropolthe Sahlins(1974) ogistMarshall or domesticmodeof production, and Kus Peebles DMP. As Plan of the western portion of the village at Shiqmim in the northern 427) (1977: the family Negeb. Based on a plan by the Israel Department of Antiquities and pointedout, in chiefdoms Museums. unit, and unit, the decision-making are the domesticmodeof production these and transcended bypolitics, differentiated. unitsbecomepartially are the social Thus, building-blocks -instead no longerinterchangeable minimallyin a societyis arrayed of chiefandassotwo-level hierarchy I MEMENE.. of ciatedofficesandthe remainder andKus1977:427). society (Peebles m Eo I arehighThesesocialdistinctions metal lightedin the newlydeveloped Ioo-EEEEElEEEElE of ChalcolithicPalestine. industry of metallurgy The emergence signals of a numberof ecothe development nomic activitiesthat clearlywent the domesticmodeof probeyond E-EEEEEEEI duction(Sahlins1974). Principally these includedthe procurement, of andmanufacture processing, metalobjectsby specialists, presumablyfora socialelite. IOEEEEEEEEMEEEI The mainevidenceforthis shift fromthe domesticmodeof away uEEEEEEEEEEEEIo comesfromsouthern production E.EE.EE.EEEE.I Palestine.In a cavein the Nahal in the Judean Mishmar Desert, Bar-Adon discovered Pessah --I --II (1980) one of the most spectacular copper hoards everfoundin the MiddleEast. subterraneanfeatures are made up of Baumgarten(1985: 139),who sugas well determinations, gested that the subterraneanfeatures Radiocarbon undergroundrooms (measuring as artifactual at Bir es-Safediwere used simultaabout 3 by 7 meters), oval-shaped evidence,firmlydate subterraneanrooms connected by period. neously with the rectangularsurface this findto the Chalcolithic The over 400 hoard contained craters architecture. or and mostly Unfortunately, they large galleries tunnels, ritualobjectsincluding10"crowns,/ connected to small rooms via tunpresent no profiles or stratigraphic 8 copper 138copperstandards, nels. The stratigraphyat these sites drawingsto support their view. jars, and over 240 copper 16copper is extremely complex, particularly tools, Thereseems little doubt in the Chalcolithic maceheads. because these subterraneannetSpecialiiation that the crownsandstandards to The transition from with bellworks are permeated copper egalitarian are ritual ornaments that maysymin features. Evichiefdom societies Palestine can be shaped pits and other bolize fourth-millennium of dence of well-preservedrectangular clearly seen with the emergence positions buildings are found close to the sur- a wide range of craft specializations. of socialor ritualstatus.The precise hoard face of these sites. Perrot(1955, originof the NahalMishmar Metallurgy.As Emile Durkheim has been the of considerable subject (1933)showed, the building blocks of 1984) suggested that this sequence DavidUssishkin(1971), egalitariansocieties are interchange- speculation. represents three stages in an evoluthat they has suggested however, able, essentially identical units. In tionary pattern of village developwere associated with ritual activto ment from subterranean open-air egalitariansocieties the residential, ities carried out at the ChalThis view was and decision-making nearby recently productive, villages. colithic at Iris Eldar and are alike. The economic units temple En-gedi. YaCaqov virtually questioned by

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skillsof Theadvanced metalworking combined withtheiruse Chalcolithic artists, aredemonstrated in the of creative design, hoard of copper objects fromNahalMishmar.
In a technological study of the spreadof metallurgy in the Near East, R. F.Tylecote (1979)illustrated the complexity of ancient metallurgy in terms of the mining of ores, smelting activities, and the manufacture of ritual objects and tools. The sources of Chalcolithic copper ores in Palestine have usually been ascribedto the WadiFidaneast of the Dead Sea and the Timna Valley northwest of the Gulf of CAqabah (Perrot1955;Rothenberg1972).A smelting furnace that may date to Chalcolithic times was discoveredat Timna, site 39 (Rothenberg, Tylecote, and Boydell 1978).To date, the only Chalcolithic village sites in western Palestine to produce evidence for actual workshops, furnaces, and slags come from the Nahal Beersheba sites of Tell Abu Matar (Perrot 1955),Bir es-Safedi(Perrot1984; Eldarand Baumgarten1985),and Shiqmim (Levyand Alon 1985a). Since the Beer-shebasites are over 150 kilometers from the nearest copper source, it seems that these settlements received their metal in ingot form and cast it locally. An early spectrographicanalysis of the Nahal Mishmar maceheads showed them to be of similar composition to copper maceheads found at Tell Abu Matar (Key1980;Perrot 1955).A material study of a macehead from Nahal Mishmar indicated that these and other elaboratenonfunctional ornaments were probably manufacturedby the lost-wax casting process (Potaszkinand Bar-Avi 1980).In terms of future researchit will be important to clarify the socioeconomic role that metallurgy played among fourth-millennium societies in Palestine. Flint-tool production.The establishment of manufacturingsites and the distribution of a number of Chalcolithic flint-tool types serve as other indications that economic activities went beyond the domestic mode of production during the fourth millennium in Palestine. The main tool types include: scrapers(round,end, side, and tabular),sickles, retouched and backed blades, retouched bladelets (bladelets,microendscrapers, macrolunates, microlunates),notches, denticulates, awls, borers,bifaces (axes,adzes, chisels), burins, arrowheads, paleoliths, hammer stones, and miscellaneous tools. Studies by Isaac Gilead (personal communication), Ann Roshwalb (1981),and Steven Rosen (in press) have highlighted the presence of specialist flint-tool workshops in the northern Negeb. Forexample, Rosen (in press) has pointed out that many of the largevillage sites in the Nahal Beer-shebaare characterizedby industries that contain the following: medium to high percentagesof flake tools, reflecting domestic activities; medium to low percentagesof specialized tools such as bifaces, sickles, tabularscrapers,drills, microborers, and other bladelet tools; and high percentagesof debitage,reflecting

Below: Many copper standards were discovered in the Cave of the Treasure at Nahal Mishmar. Like the maceheads, shown below, no two are of the same size and none are decorated in an identical fashion. Most of the standards are hollow, although some are partly solid and a few are completely solid. A typical macehead consists of a shaft and a part that resembles a standard, which is usually placed near the top of the shaft. The longest macehead shown here is 26.1 centimeters. Photograph by David Harris.



Right: Over 240 copper maceheads were also found at Nahal Mishmar. Each differs in shape (spherical, piriform, flattened, or disk-shaped), in size (3 to 6 centimeters in diameter), and in weight (110 to 619 grams). Remnants of wooden staffs or poles were discovered in some of the maceheads. Photograph by David Harris.



Below: Tencopperobjects, which have been called crowns for lack of a better word, were found in the cache at Nahal Mishmar.Theirpurposeis enigmatic. is 17.5 centimeters This elaborately decorated "crown" high, has a diameter of 16.8 centimeters, and weighs 1374 grams. Courtesyof the Israel Departmentof Antiquities and Museums.

Below: Animal heads, some with grooved horns and others with smooth, twisted horns, adorn this elegant standardfrom Nahal Mishmar.It is 27.5 centimeters long, has a diameter of 2.3 centimeters, and weighs 1014 grams. Photographby David Harris.


Left:Theforepartsof two ibexes mergeto form a fanciful decoration on top of a piriform macehead from Nahal Mishmar.The ibexes areflanked by two blades- one with a pointed end and the other terminatingin a curved and splayed edge. It is 11 centimeters high, 14 centimeters wide, and weighs 335 grams. Photographby David Harris. Left:This solid scepterfrom the Cave of the Treasure resembles a tree trunk with branches.It is 49.4 centimeters long, has a diameter of 1 centimeter, and weighs 490 grams. Courtesyof the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums.



Bifacially flaked and polished chisels from the Golrn. Courtesy of the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums.

that theproduction offlinttool typeswas a specialized era. taskduringthe Chalcolithic




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the production of simple flake tools. In contrast to these inland villages, sites excavatedby Eann Macdonald (Macdonald,Starkey,and Harding 1932;Roshwalb 1981)along the WadiGhazzeh (lowerNahal Besor)on the Negeb Coastal Plain show clearevidence of specialization. Forexample microborersare the major tool-type at one site (site M), while another site (site A) has been describedby Roshwalb(1981)as a secondary manufacturingsite for The latter site also fan-scrapers. seems to have been a production center for sickle blades because over 1,000 blade cores were recovered.In addition, this site shows evidence for bifacial tool production with numerous blanks suggesting on-site manufacture (S.Rosen, in press). Steven Rosen (1983)has also documented the existence of a fourthtrade millennium tabular-scraper that extended from quarrysites in the central Negeb highlands, to secondaryproduction centers (like site A), to recipient sites such as Shiqmim, Megiddostratum 20 (Crowfoot 1948),and other sites. Delicate starand disk-shapedflint tools have been found in the Jordan Valley (Mallon, Koeppel,and Neuville 1934),in the Hauran(Nasrallah 1948),and the Golan (Epstein1977)regions.Archae-

ologists do not know what the function of these tools was; however, they were finely worked and seem to be a further indication of craft specialization. There are other tools that may have been made by specialists, such as the newly identified microendscraper(I.Gilead 1984). More studies concerning the Chalcolithic flint-tool industry clearly will be of great help in identifying patterns of trade and production during the fourth millennium. Ivory industry.Furtherevidence for a shift awayfrom the domestic mode of production can be seen in the ivory industry of southern Palestine. The manufactureof ivory cult-objects is well attested during the Chalcolithic. These objects are known primarily from the Nahal Beer-sheba sites (Bires-Safedi-Perrot 1959; Shiqmim-Levy and Alon 1985a) and the Cave of the Treasurein the JudeanDesert (Bar-Adon 1980).At Bir es-Safedi,Perrot(personalcommunication) found ivory detritus and unfinished ivory objects in situ, suggesting it was a specialized workshop. The ivories include finely carvedanthropomorphicstatuettes and sickle-shaped objects.The Nahal Mishmar hoard contained five large sickle-shaped objects (each measuring over 50 centimeters along




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statuettes Three carved exceptional anthropomorphic fromivorywere foundat the share All aredepicted nudeandin a rigid,standing withtheir manysimilarities. position handsontheirhips.Unfortunately thefemalestatuette's headis missing, buttheother two similar characteristics: an nose that the the at display unusually long begins topof forehead andextends downto thebottom the circular drilled holes of face; foreyes,whichwere with a substance like the absence a andsimple malachite; filled probably of mouth; Howthefigurines wereusedis unclear. protuberances forears.
Chalcolithic nearBeer-sheba. site of Bir es-Safedi Thetwo male and onefemalefigures

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Farleft: The male figurinefrom chamber 721 is awkwardly proportionedwith its legs appearingquite short in comparisonto its arms. It is representedwearing an ornamentedphallic sheath. The figurineis 25 centimeters high. Left:A more elegantly proportionedmale figurinewas discoveredin 1955in chamber318. Theface is encircled byperforations,which the excavatorbelievedwere forthe attachment of a false beardand hair.Evidenceof a belt, loincloth, orphallic sheath exists- the figurinewas partiallydamaged duringits recovery. It measures33 centimetershigh. Right: A female ivory statuette of the Chalcolithic period was found in 1959 in the subterraneanhabitation 793-798 at Bir es-Safedi.Although partly damaged, enough remains of this figurine to show strong similarities, especially in the position of the arms and the disproportionately renderedlegs, to the two male ivory statuettes also discoveredat the site. Particularemphasis has been placed on the sexual features, and the enlargedabdomen most likely representsthe woman as being pregnant.The figurineis preservedto a height of 12 centimeters.Farright: A decoratedivory case from the hoard of objects found in chamber 721 at Bir es-Safedi.A design with a floral motif in the center has been created by a series of small perforationsthat were filled in with bitumen. It measures 17 centimeterslong, 4.9 centimeters wide, and 3 centimeters thick. Photographsby A. Wolk,courtesy of Centrede RechercheFrancaisde Jerusalem.



Evidence of the pottery wheel, which greatly affected ceramic technology,appearsin the Chalcolithic period on small V-shaped bowls. Marksof the slow wheel or tournette are frequentlyvisible on the sides of these vessels, This V-shaped bowl is from Teleilatel-Ghassul. Drawing by LindaHuff.

forms during the Chalcolithi c age.

with potteryof the LateNeolithic Compare with period,thereis a dramaticincrease in the and varietyof ceramic quality,decoration, .

the outside curve)perforatedwith numerous holes. With the exception of a box made of elephant ivory,all of these objects were of hippopotamus tusk. Bar-Adon (1980:16)believed that these objects were probably ritual standardsthat were carriedon wooden poles inserted into the central perforations. Ceramic technology. The introduction of the wheel in the ceramic industry indicates mass production and another shift awayfrom the domestic mode of production. There is clear evidence for the introduction of the wheel (referred to as the slow wheel or tournette)during the Chalcolithic period (Amiran,Beck, and Zevulun 1970.)This is most clearly seen on small V-shaped bowls that show evidence of wheel marks. Comparedwith the precedingpottery assemblages of the Late Neolithic period, where only a small number of types are found, there is a dramatic increase in the quality, decoration, and variety of ceramic forms during the Chalcolithic. The Beer-shebasites are associated with 9 basic types (and45 subtypes) including largepithoi, holemouth vessels, small globular jars,jars, bowls, basins, footed vessels, vessels with multiple handles, and churns (de Contenson 1956).Cornets, the hallmark of the Teleilat el-Ghassul



muchtimeandlabor, andtheritualcontexts
A decorated ceramic pithos from the Golan.
Courtesy of the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums.

Theproduction which involved of basaltobjects,

in which manywerefound,suggests that they weregreatly valuedby Chalcolithic people.

pottery corpus (Wright1937),are extremely rareat the Beer-sheba sites but are quite common along the Nahal Gerar(Orenand Gilead 1984). Steven Kangas(in preparation) is currently examining the role of pottery specialization in trade and redistributionnetworks of the fourthmillennium Negeb region. Basalt industry.Like the metal, flinttool, ivory,and ceramic industries, the procurement, manufacture,and distribution of finely made basalt vessels is another indication of the development of segments of an economy beyond the domestic mode of production. The basalt vessels are highly polished and include footed "incenseburners," large open basins with incised herringbonepatterns, bowls on tripods, and other forms. At Tell Abu Matarno evidence of basalt detritus was found. Thus, Perrot (1955:78) suggested that these vessels were brought to the site



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A series of cist graves from Tell cAdeimeh. Photograph is from Stekelis 1935.

roughly finished, readyfor polishing. The large amount of labor involved in their production and the ritual context in which many basalt vessels were found suggest that they were of great value. Basalt was also used in the manufactureof Chalcolithic pillar-statuesin the Golan region (Epstein1982)and anthropomorphic statuettes in the Beer-sheba Valley (Levyand Alon 1985a). The main basalt source areas of the region are the Golan, the Galilee, the Makhtesh Ramon in the Negeb, and the Black Desert in eastern Palestine. A petrographicprovenience study of fourth-millennium basalt artifacts from the northern Negeb sites of Gilat, Small Tell Malhata, and Aradrevealedsome interesting facts about the origin of the source materials of these objects (Amiran and Porat 1984).The researchers determined that the origin of the material used for making the Negeb basalt vessels was far awayin the north (that is, the Galilee, the Golan, from basalt deposits or Transjordan) dated to the Neogene-Pleistocene age. This study highlights the long distances Chalcolithic craftsmen and traderswould go to obtain highquality basalt material. There are other specialist industries that may mark a departurefrom the domestic mode of production. These include the labor-intensive production of beads, bone, and pendants, as well as mother-of-pearl exotic stone objects. The presence of what seems to be a specialist site associated with turquoise mining (presumablyfor beads)near Serabit el-Khadimin the Sinai (Beit-Arieh 1980)highlights the need to examine the production and distribution of these and other objects in relation to

fourth-millennium production, trade duced evidence of formal Chalcolithic cemeteries in Palestine. These networks, and social organization. include the lower Jordan Valley/Moab FormalCemeteries Plateau, the SharonCoastal Plain, the southern Sinai peninsula, and In Palestine the establishment of formal burial-groundslocated apart the Nahal Beer-shebain the northern from habitation sites has its origin Negeb. During their survey of the Plateau southern Jordan This the Valley/Moab Chalcolithic period. during Neuville Rene to 1930 from 1929 a number of reflects phenomenon and his colleagues (Neuville 1930b; the archaeologicalcorrelates outlined earlier for chiefdoms. These Mallon, Koeppel,and Neuville 1934: include more clearly defined terri153)discoveredan extensive fourthtorial boundaries, centers that coor- millennium cemetery at Tell dinate religious activities, the imcAdeimeh, located less than 6 southeast of Teleilat elkilometers ritual coordinators of portance (that Ghassul. of the and They believed cAdeimeh deployment is, priests), the was monuto burial labor build necropolis of Teleilat elpublic Ghassul. In 1933 Moshe Stekelis ments and facilities. In a crosscultural ethnographicsurvey of (1935)carriedout extensive excavations at cAdeimeh and discovered Goldstein thirty societies, Lynne circular tumuli varyingin eleven of the that concluded presence from 3.85 to 7.0 meters diameter burial defined permanent, spatially to the site surface. close located are to likely represent grounds with 168 cist were associated These that has a corporate rights group controlof cruoverthe use and/or 1.5meters less than gravesmeasuring resources. This cial but restricted in length. Eighty percent of these controlis most likely to corporate did not exceed 1 meter in length be attainedand/orlegitimisedby (Stekelis 1935:66). Although the means of lineal descent from the human skeletal remains were poorly dead,either in terms of an actual preserved,the method of interment lineageor in the formof a strong, seems to have been secondaryburial. of the critical tradition established Burial caves in the Coastal Plain. As to offfromparent resource passing as early 1934, Eliezer L. Sukenik dis1981: spring. 61) (Goldstein In Palestine, the concern with terri- covereda new type of Chalcolithic cemetery previously undetected in tory may relate to the development At Hadera,Sukenik (1937) Palestine. of more sophisticated farming and excavated a man-madecave that had herding practices. These problems into the kurkar sand-ridge been dug are discussed below. filled with and large ceramic ossuA necropolis in the JordanValley.To Chalcolithic pottery,human aries, date, four geographiczones have pro-



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Below: Plan of the Shiqmim Chalcolithic cemetery 1 in the northern Negeb. Figure is from Levy and Alon 1982. Right: Group of circular graves and stone-lined cists from Shiqmim cemetery 3. Photograph by T Ludovise.

bones, and other objects. Like CAdeimehthe method of interment was secondary burial. In the years since 1934, Chalcolithic burial caves containing ossuaries made of clay and stone have been discoveredat Bene-barak(Ory 1946),Azor (Perrot 1961),Givatayim (Sussman and BenArieh 1966),Ben Shemen (Perrotand Tladiray 1980),and Palmahim(Gophna There are many similarities 1968). between the material culture found in these burial caves and the artifacts found in the Beer-shebasites. Perrot (1968;Perrotand Ladiray1980)suggested that Chalcolithic pastoralists from the Beer-shebaregion may have used these burial caves during their seasonal movements on the coastal plain in search of pasture lands. Burialgroundsin the NorthernNegeb. Additional evidence for the presence of ritual centers has been found in the recently discoveredChalcolithic cemetery complex at Shiqmim in the northern Negeb. The first Chalcolithic cemetery site to be discovered in this region was found in 1979 and it was associated with the Shiqmim village along the Nahal Beersheba (Levyand Alon 1979).The size

of the Shiqmim village and other sites in the region led David Alon and myself to question Perrot'scemetery/seasonality hypothesis and to carryout a survey in the vicinity of Shiqmim in search of a more local cemetery used by the inhabitants of the Beer-shebasettlements. The Shiqmim cemetery is very large (about 8 hectares in area)and was found adjacentto the village extending over 800 meters along a series of four Eocene chalk hills that parallel the Nahal Beer-sheba(Levyand Alon 1982).To date excavations have revealed 40 burial circles that range in size from less than 1 meter to over 3.5 meters in diameter. Secondary burials, comprised primarily of long bones and skull fragments,were found placed in the circles with a wide range of burial offerings.These included diagnostic Beer-shebapottery vessels, lambis-shell bracelets, mother-of-pearl pendants, beads, and other objects. It seems that each individual was buried with at least one typical Chalcolithic V-shapedbowl. In additionto the gravecircles,ten well-built stone-lined pits or cists were found surroundinga group of

circulargraveson one of the hilltops (Levyand Alon 1985b).The cists average1.95 by 1.34 by .72 meters in depth. A minimum of one V-shaped bowl was found on the floor of each cist. Although all of the soil deposits found in these structureswere sieved, no human-bone remains were retrieved. As a working hypothesis, Alon and I (Levyand Alon 1985b) suggested that the cists were used as decay pits from primaryburials. Once the flesh decayedfrom the bodies placed in the cists, selected bones were placed in the gravecircles. The surprisingdiscoveryof ossuaries, including one that is house-shaped, in one of the hilltop cemeteries (identical to those found on the SharonPlain), suggests that Perrot's (1968)hypothesis should be reevaluated. The height of the ossuaries indicates that the circles may be the stone foundations of burial structures that had mudbrick walls. The closest parallel to this type of fourthmillennium burial structure can be foundin the nawamis of the southern Sinai peninsula. The nawamis of Sinai. The enigmatic nawamis have been known since



Right: Most scholars agree that the wellpreservedstone structurescalled nawamis, were built during the fourthmillennium B.C. by indigenouspastoralists who used them as tombs. This scene shows a groupof nawamis at Ein Huderahin the southern Sinai. Photoand graphby Z. Redovan,from Bar-Yosef others (1977).


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Above: Groupof clay ossuaries from the Azor burial cave on the SharonCoastal Plain. These fragileobjects are made of poorly fired terra-cottabut show great varietyin form and decoration-some are in the shape of real or imaginary animals, while others resemble houses or other architecturalstructureslike grain silos. Courtesyof the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums.

Edward H. Palmer's (1871) early explorations in the Sinai. During the years 1972 to 1982, Ofer Bar-Yosef, Avner Goren, and other Israeli scholars made intensive field investigations of these structures. It is generally agreed that these well-preserved stone-built structures were constructed during the fourth millennium B.C. by indigenous pastoralists and used as tombs (Bar-Yosef, Belfer, Goren, and Smith 1977; Bar-Yosef, Hershkovitz, Arbel, and Goren 1983). Up until 1982 twenty-one fields of nawamis were found concentrated on the fringes of the central mountain region with a northern extension into the Nubian sandstone area of the peninsula. The nawamis generally have the same rounded plan

-3 to 6 meters in diameter and approximately 2 meters in height. They are usually double-walled and built of local stone, either sandstone slabs or granitic or metamorphic boulders. A wide range of burial offerings were found in the nawamis. These include beads (mostly dentalium, connus, carnelian, faience, bone, and ostrich eggshell), motherof-pearl pendants, lambis-shell bracelets, transverse arrowheads, fanscrapers, and some copper points. Bar-Yosef,Belfer, Goren, and Smith (1977) suggested that the nawamis were used as graves for family units. Both primary and secondary burials were found in the numerous fully excavated nawamis (Bar-Yosef, Hershkovitz, Arbel and Goren 1983: 58). In a study concerning the western orientation of the entrances of 264 nawamis from seven different burial fields, some important aspects of fourth-millennium ritual and territoriality were discovered (Bar-Yosef, Hershkovitz, Arbel, and Goren 1983). The study considered two hypotheses

concerning the orientation of the entrances: 1)that they were directed towardan important or sacredgeographicalfeature;or 2) that they faced the direction of the sunset because of some religious belief. The study's researcherspreferredthe latter explanation, comparingthe western orientation of the nawamis to the Egyptianconcept of the deceased going to the land of the setting sun and the western orientation of Egyptianburial structures.By analyzing the correlationbetween the orientation of the nawamis entrances to the points on the horizon where the sun sets throughout the year (the points thus corresponding to annual dates), the researchersdetermined that most of the nawamis were constructed during one season of the year-winter. Few were built during June/Julyor December. The excavatorsconcluded that the nawamis fields mark the winter camping and grazingareas of an ancient pastoral group (orgroups)and noted that today winter is the period of optimal



settlements,define the theoreticalterritoriesof the Chalcolithic centersof the northernNegeb.

to larger drawnona mapin relation Thiessen polygons,

grazingexploitation by bedouin goatherds (Bar-Yosef, Hershkovitz, Arbel, and Goren 1983).The establishment of these formal burial-groundsin close association with optimal grazing lands, which were of restricted distribution, is a clear expression of a concern for territoriality during the fourth millennium B.C. Territories Systematic archaeological surveys carriedout during the past fifteen years providea reliable data base for reconstructing aspects of social and economic systems in antiquity. The early archaeological surveys carried out in Palestine were for the most part unsystematic in that only large sites or sites connected with historic traditions were recorded.The recording of important variables such as site size, intensive surface collections, geomorphological setting, and other environmental data was gen-

erally ignored.This was primarily because of the emphasis on historical reconstruction (Glueck 1935, 1939; Albright 1948). (These remarks are not meant to detract from the important contributions made by earlier scholars.)It was only during the 1970s, however,that archaeologists working in the Middle East began to seriously consider the problem of sampling and the representativenature of their observations (Bar-Yosef and Phillips 1977;Bar-Yosef and Goren 1980;Henry and others 1981; B. Macdonaldand others 1982;Redman andWatson 1970;Johnson1973). As these surveyshave shown, data concerning site size and environmental setting can be of great help in determining the ancient economy and social structureof archaeological cultures. In the northern Negeb an intensive systematic archaeologicalsurvey was made along the Nahal Beer-

sheba and lower Nahal Besor over a distance of 110kilometers with the aim of recordingall Late Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and EarlyBronzeAge sites within 500 meters of the drainage channel (Alon and Levy 1980; Levy 1981).A total of seventy Chalcolithic sites were recordedfrom the protohistoricperiods. Thirty of these contained evidence of rectangularbuilding architectureand were classified as villages. Some of these included sites that had previously been excavated,such as Tell Abu Matar, Bir es-Safedi,Horvat Beter,and Zecelim (Cohen 1972).When these villages were rankedaccordingto their size, using a geographicmethod called the rank-sizerule (Hodderand Orton 1976),it was clear that a twotier settlement hierarchyexisted during the Chalcolithic period along the Nahal Beer-sheba.The largersettlements that are over 8 hectares in size presumably served as subregion-



Isolated in an unsettled area during Chalcolithic times, this temple at En-gedi near the Dead Sea may have served a wide area and was thus a focus for pilgrimage.

al centers that coordinatedsocial, economic, and ritual activities for the people that inhabited the wadivalley environment. These centers were surroundedby smaller satellite sites that rangedfrom 0.25 to 4.85 hectares in area. Togain some idea of the possible territorialboundaries of the four Nahal Beer-sheba/Lower Nahal Besor centers, Thiessen polygons were used. This method had been widely used by archaeologists working with Neolithic long barrowsin Britain (Renfrew1973),Neolithic chiefdoms in Malta (Renfrew1974),and many other regions. As the geographer PeterHaggett (1971:247) explained, Thiessen polygons are constructed on a map by first drawinglines between a given settlement center to each adjacentcenter; then bisecting each of these intersettlement center lines to give the midpoint of the line; and finally from the midpoint of the line a boundaryline is drawn at right angles to the original intersecting line to give a series of polygons. The polygons define theoretical territories related to each settlement center. The three other large Chalcolithic settlement centers outside the survey areain the northern Negeb were included in this analysis. Without more detailed survey and analytical work on other northern Negeb dewadis, however,the "territories" fined here can only be regardedas provisional. The other sites included in the analysis are Gilat, located along the Nahal Patish (Alon 1960, 1976, 1977); GerarHay,situated along the Nahal Gerar(Alon 1960;Oren and Gilead 1984);and Abu Hof in the piedmont southwest of Lahav(Alon and Levy, in preparation). This northern Negeb

spatial pattern represents the twotier settlement system described above and is an additional indication of the presence of chiefdoms during the Chalcolithic accordingto the models of Service (1962)and Fried (1967). Temples The construction of temples is a clear indication of the organizationand deployment of public labor (Renfrew 1984).It seems that the earliest welldefined temple precincts in Palestine appearedduring the Chalcolithic period.During the earlierPre-pottery Neolithic B period (around6000 B.C.), a single-chambershrine was found in Jerichostratum 11 by John Garstang.It was associated with numerous clay and mud figurines primarily representingdomestic animals (Garstang1935;Garstang and Garstang 1940; Seton-Williams 1949).A remarkablecache of human statues made of plaster from the Prepottery Neolithic B site of CAin Ghazal near Amman was recently found in a pit but without direct stratigraphicassociation with any structures (Rollefson 1985: 59). An isolated Chalcolithic templecomplex at En-gediin the Judean Desert, overlookingthe Dead Sea, representsthe clearest example of an early temple precinct in Palestine (Amiran 1981;Kempinski 1972).The

En-gedisanctuary consists of four separatestructures all connected by a stone fence that encloses a roughly rectangularcourtyard.These include the main gatehouse, a postern or secondary gate, a lateral chamber, and the sanctuary.A circular installation was built in the center of the courtyard(Ussishkin 1980:4). The site is isolated; no settlement sites are in the vicinity. Ussishkin (1980: 34) suggested the site was probablya central temple serving a wide region and was a focus for pilgrimage. The nearest contemporarysanctuaries that are known are located at Teleilat el-Ghassul and Gilat situated along the Nahal Patish in the northern Negeb (Alon 1977).The layout of the Ghassul temple in area E is very similar to that of the sanctuary at En-gedi(Hennessy 1982: 56). Resurfacingof the buildings in area E indicates prolongeduse of the temple. A series of eight superimposed wall-paintingswere counted in one building; unfortunately the mural was completely shattered. The wall-paintings found during the early excavations by Mallon, Koeppel, and Neuville (1934)suggest the presence of severaltemples at that site. Although the excavations at Gilat have not been completed or fully published, David Alon (1977) found evidence of two rooms that bordereda courtyardand seem to



unusual Several havingcultic possibly objects, theexcawerediscovered during significance, at Gilat. vations temple of theChalcolithic aretwoceramic interest figures. Ofparticular

Above: One of the ceramic figurinesfrom the temple of Gilat is of an awkwardly rendered,nude female figure shown seated on a pedestal and balancing a churn on her head with her right arm. Under the figure'sleft arm is a small clay vessel in the shape of a chalice or pedestalbowl. The entire object is elaborately decorated:Her eyes are representedas painted circles; vertical, wavy lines painted on both sides of her face and along the back of her head may indicate braidsor curlyhair;and horizontallines encircling her body may representclothing, tattooing, or may simply be decoration. It is approximately31 centimeters high. Courtesyof the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums.

have been part of a largershrine. Numerous objects that may have had a cultic significance were found. These include fragments of a schematic violin-shaped figurine made of crystalline chalk, churns, thick pipeshaped vessels with double handles, cosmetic boardsand maceheads made of granite and basalt, and two ceramic statuettes-one representing a female seated on a pedestal with a churn on her head and the other representinga ram with three cornets on its back. During a survey of the site, Alon (personalcommunication) also found a complete violinshaped statuette made of granite in the vicinity of the temple area. The subjectof fourth-millennium cult practice is beyond the scope of

Above left: The ceramic vessel from Gilat is of a ram with three cornets on its back. Its barrel-likebody, which is similar in shape to the female's torso,has been identified by David Alon (1976)as the basic shape of the Chalcolithic churn. The ram also was painted in a lively manner with horizontal lines and red triangles. The total height of the object is 23 centimeters and it is preservedto a length of 27.5 centimeters. Courtesyof the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums.

Right: A violin-shapedstatuette made of granite was found in the vicinity of the temple at Gilat. It is approximately20 centimeters high. Photographby A. Wolk, courtesy of David Alon.



this paper. As Claire Epstein (1985a) has pointed out, however, Chalcolithic statuettes and figurines from Palestine are primarily connected with the two main branches of the contemporary economy. This includes sheep/goat rearing and agriculture. According to Epstein (1985a) these objects are essentially cultic in character, implying a use in rites to promote increase and prosperity.

It has become clear that to understandChalcolithic social organizationand economy in Palestine researchersmust consider the paleoenvironmental frameworkin which protohistoricevents occurred.The main lines of paleoenvironmental evidence come from botany (palynology), geomorphology, studies of deep-seacores,andlake (lacustrine)deposits.Although a full discussion of this topic is beyond the scope of this paper,severalimportant trends and concepts should be mentioned. In a soon-to-be-published survey article, Paul Goldbergand Arlene M. Rosen will summarize the paleoenvironmental data availablefrom Israeland the surroundingareas. After reviewing the availableevidence, Goldbergand Rosen will suggest that during the earlier half of the Holocene (around 10,000 to 5000 B.P.) conditions were wetter than the second half. They will point out that although this trend seems real, one must also consider that there is very little paleoenvironmental data for the historical periods. They will also indicate that within the EarlyHolocene there may havebeen two wetter intervals (one around9000 to 7000 B.P.and another at 5500 B.P.) separatedby a drierinterval This is shown primarilyby oxygenisotopes roughlybetween 7000 to 5500 B.P. from deep-seacores (Luz1982)and the Dead Sea data (Neev and Emery 1967; Neev and Hall 1977).Thus, the second moist phase is centered around 5500 B.P.and would coverthe very end of the Chalcolithic and the beginning of the EarlyBronzeAge. As Goldbergand Rosen (in press) will point out, the terms wetter and drier are literal since the quality and sparsenessof the datapreventresearchers from translatingthis data into absolute measurements of precipitationor temperature.In a study of the deposition of ancient soils (paleosols)in the northern Negeb, however,H. J.Bruins and D. H. Yaalon(1979:168)suggested a southern shift of the rainfall isohyets over southern Palestine so that conditions would havebeen perhaps100to 150millimeters wetter than today. Morework is clearlyneeded to obtainmore accurateprecipitationreconstructions. Accordingto a study now being carriedout by G. Goodfriendon fossil land-snail shells in the northern Negeb, it may be possible to correlatepast vegetation zones with protohistoric rainfall zones (delineated by isohyets). This would providearchaeologistswith the much needed absolute measurements of ancient rainfall. Although the accumulating evidence points to wetter conditions during the Chalcolithic, archaeologists should be leery of explaining fourthmillennium settlement solely on the basis of environmentalconsiderations. For example, in explaining the settlement patterns in the southern Levant from the Upper Paleolithic (about 30,000 to 22,000 B.P.) to the Bronze Age, Goldberg and Bar-Yosef (1982)employed a model based on modern hunterthat during drought and lean years, desertic model This suggests gatherers. areas are abandonedby hunter-gatherersand during rainy years these arid regions are reoccupied.While this correlationmay exist and may be of great it is too simplistic a model to value in studying ancient hunter-gatherers, explain the settlement processes associated with the developed farming villages of the Chalcolithic period. This is most readily seen in the fact that even underthe optimal rainfallconditions suggestedby paleosol datafromthe northern Negeb (Bruinsand Yaalon 1979) there was not enough rainfall to insure successful dry-farmingof the Chalcolithic village dwellers in the region (Arnon 1972). Thus, I suggest that archaeologists examine a greater rangeof variablesto explain the growth and stability of protohistoricsettlement and not simply rely on environmental determinism to explain culture change in Palestine.

Agrotechnology Intensive farming. The "agricultural revolution," a concept suggested by Gordon Childe (1936), began in Palestine during the Natufian period (around 10,300 to 8500 B.C.) and ended around the Late Neolithic when most domestic wheat and barley species were well established (Harlan and Zohary 1966; Zohary 1969). This process represented the transition from man-the-gatherer-andhunter to man-the-agriculturalist. As Mordecai Kislev (1984) has pointed out, there are three phases in this socalled revolution that apply to plants and animals: first, the agrotechnical revolution, which occurred within a society still based on hunting and gathering; second, the "domestication revolution," that is, the cultivation and domestication of wild plants and animals; and, third, the expansion of agriculture. With the growth in human populations in Palestine during the fourth millennium, agrotechnology became much more intensive and more specialized than before. There is growing evidence that floodwater-farming played an important role in the subsistence base of Chalcolithic societies in Palestine. At Jawa in the Black Desert of eastern Palestine, Svend Helms (1981) has documented a wide range of water systems that seem to date to the late Chalcolithic period. These include water-storage facilities, dams, deflection walls, canals, and conduits. Water was deflected from



areevidenced the in agricultural Advancements during production For Chalcolithic periodby theinitialstages offruitcultivation. olives in Palestine thefourth firstappear example, during
millennium B.C.E.
floods in the adjacentWadiRajilto irrigatefields and to fill a network of water-storagefacilities connected with the settlement. In the northern Negeb, settlement sites along the Nahal Beer-shebaalso seem to have utilized floodwater-farming principles. This reconstruction is based on four lines of evidence: a site catchment analysis (a method for attempting to reconstruct the economy of archaeological sites) of these villages that shows a statistically significant relationshipbetween the settlements and the restricted distribution of the valley-bottom soils associated with the wadi environment (Levy1983); the presence of small dams that form microcatchments (andgardens) within the confines of these villages (Levy1981);fragments of diversion walls along the banks of the main wadi channel (Levy1981);and plant phytolite remains that suggest that crops of barleyand wheat were grown under irrigatedconditions (A. M. Rosen, in press). The organization of labor needed to carryout floodwaterfarming activities in these marginal environmental zones may be another indication of the existence of chiefdoms in Chalcolithic Palestine. The intensificationof agricultural production is also evidenced by the beginnings of fruit growing in the Chalcolithic. Olives (Olea europea 1.)make their first appearancein Palestine during the fourth millennium, most notably from Teleilat elGhassul and the Cave of the Treasure near En-gedi(Zoharyand SpiegelRoy 1975; Stager 1985).Carbonized date stones (Phoenix dactylifera 1.) were also found at these sites. Numerous carbonized olive stones were found at Ghassul in close association with cereal grains, dates, and pulses. Daniel Zohary and Pinhas SpiegelRoy (1975)suggested that olives from

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and the lack of arrowheads in Changesin faunal remains Chalcolithic indicatevery little dependence lithic assemblages on huntingcompared with thepreceding period.
Ghassul were grown under irrigated conditions, similar to that of Jericho and Beth-sheantoday.Because fruit remains are rareor totally absent from Neolithic farmingvillages, they concluded that olives and dates apparently became integral elements of food production during the Chalcolithic. The development of horticulture in association with crop agricultureand animal husbandry during the Chalcolithic marks the beginning of the type of mixed economy that characterizesthe Mediterraneanand Levantinelands today. Animal husbandry.Adaptationto the distinct geographiczones in Palestine is also seen in the exploitation of domestic animals. The main species found at Chalcolithic sites include sheep (Ovis aries), goat (Caprahircus), cattle (Bos taurus brachyceros), and pig (Sus scrofapalustris). The classic archaeozoologicalwork concerning the protohistoric periods of Palestine was done by PierreDucos (1968).Archaeozoologists are, however,beginning to reinvestigatethe whole problem of relationships between protohistorichumans and animals (Davis 1976;Grigson, in press).Comparedwith LateNeolithic faunal assemblages,there is a marked dropin the number of Gazella sp. and cervids representedat Chalcolithic sites. This fact and the lack of arrowheadsin Chalcolithic lithic assemblages indicate very little dependence on hunting as a subsistence strategy comparedwith the precedingperiod. The bones of pigs can be extremely useful in helping to identify adaptationsof local microenvironments. This is because pigs lack protective hair and are unable to sweat (Mount 1968).To cool their bodies they need external sources of moisture (forexample, muddy areas).As Harris(1978:36-37) noted, the hotter and higher the temperature,the "dirtier"pigs become. Accordingto Harris (1978:36-37), this physiographic attribute supports the theory that the ritual uncleanliness of the pig derives from observations of physical dirtiness. In the northern Negeb, the regional distribution of pigs indicates markedvariationovershort distances within this semiarid zone. No pig remains have been found in the Nahal Beer-shebavillages such as Bir esSafedi,Tell Abu Matar,Shiqmim, and HorvatBeter.About 20 kilometers downstream on the Nahal Besor,however,Eann Macdonald's (Macdonald,Starkey,and Harding 1932)site D, which was reexcavated by Perrot(1968;Ducos 1968),contained 33.8 percent of pig bones. At Gilat, pig representsabout 17.3 percent of the faunal remains (Levy 1981).Although these samples are small, both Gilat and site D are located in the more humid zone of the northern Negeb (annualrainfall is approximately200 to 300 millimeters today).The Beer-shebasites are located along the interface between the arid desert and the semiarid (annualrainfall is less than 200 millimeters) environment. Thus, pig husbandrywould have been a higher risk activity in the Beer-shebavalley because of the physiological nature of these animals. In regardto herd animals, the question of the origins of the subtle changes associated with the exploitation of the secondaryproducts of sheep and goats is gaining interest among scholars. Andrew Sherratt (1981)suggested that intensive utilization took secondary-products place in the Old Worldonly around four millennia after the beginning of animal domestication; he referredto this process as the secondaryproducts revolution. This is characterized by the exploitation of animals for labor,transport,and secondary products such as milk and wool. The success of this herd-management system can be gaugedby the fact that it is still practiced in the Middle East by many nomadic groups (NoyMeir and Seligman 1979).In a study that I made (Levy1981, 1983)I suggested that specialized pastoralism in the southern Levantevolved, in concert with population growth and the increased exploitation of the floodplain areas aroundnucleated Chalcolithic village settlements, in the northern Negeb. Keepingsheep and goat herds awayfrom the critical floodplain areas duringgrowing and harvestingperiods was probablyan important factor in promoting the need for specialized pastoralists.In addition, as permanent settlement expandedfurther east along the trough-shapedvalleys such as the Nahal Beer-sheba,the more arid conditions in that region would have created a seasonal need to move herds awayfrom permanent settlements in search of pasture land. Conclusion In this survey a chiefdom model has been used to help explain the increase in socioeconomic complexity observedduring the Chalcolithic period in Palestine. This model is of great help in analyzing a number of cultural developments that emerged for the first time during the fourth These include millennium B.C. growth in human populations, the



emergence of craft specialization and extensive trade networks, the establishment of formal sanctuaries and burial grounds,and the development of sophisticated agricultural and animal-husbandrymethods. The emphasis has been placed on the southern Chalcolithic cultures, particularly in the lower Jordan Valley and the northern Negeb Desert. The reason for this is that more work has been done in these areas and the data conforms closely to the chiefdom model. As Renfrew(1982)suggested, the most fruitful lines of investigation into the processes that led to socioeconomic change in the protohistoric periods are the study of the intensification of production and the study of the interaction between polities. In Europe,agriculturalintensification has been shown to correlate closely with social complexity (Gilman 1981),and it has been similarly suggested for the Nahal Beersheba in a case study of Chalcolithic societies in the northern Negeb (Levy 1981, 1983).The chiefdom model and anthropologicalperspective presented here, however,clearly shows that the cultural historical models of Albright (1957),Lapp(1970)and others are no longer relevant.Tofully explain culture change during the protohistoric period of Palestine, archaeologists will have to examine these periods as part of an evolving social context. In this sense the Chalcolithic period in Palestine witnessed some of the most dramatic social changes, the transition from segmentary tribe to chiefdom, in the history of mankind. Acknowledgements I would like to thank the following friends and scholars for readingand commenting on earlier draftsof this paper:Dr. Paul Goldberg,Mr. Neil Silberman,ProfessorSeymour Gitin, ProfessorBenjamin Mazar,and Mr. David Alon. Thanks also go to the following individuals and institutions for providingmany of the

photographsused here: Professor JeanPerrot,ProfessorOfer Bar-Yosef, ProfessorDaniel Zohary,Dr. Claire Epstein, Ms. Ayela Sussman, Mr. Rafi Greenberg,the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums, and the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Jerusalem.I am also gratefulto my colleague Dr. Isaac Gilead for providing a radiocarbondate from his excavations at Qatif. Bibliography
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