Recent excavations at the protohistoric (5200–4600 cal BC) site of Tel Tsaf in the Jordan Valley (Israel) revealed an unusual clay model, found in a room surrounded by several large grain-storage silos. It provides the first insight into the manner in which the superstructures of the silos at Tel Tsaf may have been constructed. More importantly, this find adds a new dimension to understanding the link between large-scale storage and the symbolism related to grain storage, burial and the regeneration of life. It also illustrates the early appearance of distinct strategies for controlling the means of production and for accumulating wealth—factors that led to the creation of social hierarchies in the ancient Near East.
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