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On Chalcolithic maceheads and spinning implements

  • Dafna Langgut (a1), Naama Yahalom-Mack (a2), Simcha Lev-Yadun (a3), Eitan Kremer (a1), Micka Ullman (a2) and Uri Davidovich (a2)...

We are grateful to Ben-Yosef et al. (above) for their thorough critical evaluation of our recent paper. We identified a group of modified wooden shafts originating in two large complex caves with Late Chalcolithic (Ghassulian) burials in the Negev Desert (Israel) as the earliest Levantine wooden spinning implements (Langgut et al. 2016). Their detailed assessment culminated in the alternative hypothesis that the wooden objects functioned as sticks that carried metal maceheads during rituals. This raises several issues that merit serious consideration. Our response to Ben-Yosef et al.'s suggestions is divided into two sections, each concentrating on one of the two main technologies under discussion: spinning and metallurgy.

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U. Davidovich 2013. The Chalcolithic–Early Bronze transition: a view from the Judean Desert caves. Paléorient 39 (1): 125–38.

C. Epstein 2001. The significance of ceramic assemblages in Chalcolithic burial contexts in Israel and neighboring regions in the southern Levant. Levant 33: 8194.

J. Golden , T.E. Levy & A. Hauptmann . 2001. Recent discoveries concerning Chalcolithic metallurgy at Shiqmim, Israel. Journal of Archaeological Science 28: 951–63.

M. Gošić 2015. Skeuomorphism, boundary objects and socialization of the Chalcolithic metallurgy in the southern Levant. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 10: 717–40.

D. Langgut , N. Yahalom-Mack , S. Lev-Yadun , E. Kremer , M. Ullman & U. Davidovich . 2016. The earliest Near Eastern wooden spinning implements. Antiquity 90: 973–90.

T.E. Levy & S. Shalev . 1989. Prehistoric metalworking in the southern Levant: archaeometallurgical and social perspectives. World Archaeology 20: 352–72.

Y.M. Rowan & J. Golden . 2009. The Chalcolithic of the southern Levant: a synthetic review. Journal of World Prehistory 22: 192.

D. Ussishkin 1980. The Ghassulian shrine at En-Gedi. Tel Aviv 7: 144.

N. Yahalom-Mack , D. Langgut , O. Dvir , O. Tirosh , A. Eliyahu-Behar , Y. Erel , B. Langford , A. Frumkin , M. Ullman & U. Davidovich . 2015. The earliest lead object in the Levant. PLoS ONE 10 (12): e0142948.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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