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Radiocarbon dating of human burials from Raqefet Cave and contemporaneous Natufian traditions at Mount Carmel

  • Omry Barzilai (a1) (a2), Noemi Rebollo (a1) (a3), Dani Nadel (a4), Fanny Bocquentin (a5), Reuven Yeshurun (a4), György Lengyel (a6), Gal Bermatov-Paz (a4) and Elisabetta Boaretto (a1)...
Abstract

The Natufian culture (c. 15–11.5 ka cal BP) marks a pivotal step in the transition from hunting and gathering to sedentism and farming in the Near East. Although conventionally divided into Early and Late phases, this internal chronology lacks support from reliable absolute dates. This is now addressed by new AMS dating from two neighbouring Natufian sites at Mount Carmel in Israel: Raqefet Cave, conventionally assigned to the Late phase of the Natufian; and el-Wad Terrace, spanning the entire Natufian sequence. Results indicate that these two sites were in fact contemporaneous at some point, but with distinct lunate assemblages. Distinguishing between Natufian phases is, therefore, more complex than previously thought; the social implications of diverse but co-existing cultural manifestations must be considered in any future reconstruction of the Natufian.

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*Authors for correspondence (Email: omry@israntique.org.il; elisabetta.boaretto@weizmann.ac.il)
References
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