"After 20 years": A taphonomic re-evaluation of Nahal Hadera V, an Epipalaeolithic site on the Israeli Coastal Plain

Guy Bar-Oz, Tamar Dayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We carried out a detailed taphonomic study of the faunal remains from Nahal Hadera V (NHV), a large Kebaran open-air site on the northern coastal plain, Israel. Faunal remains were previously identified to bone element and species (Saxon, Martin & Bar-Yosef, 1978). However, NISP and MNI values were calculated based on teeth and epiphyses only. In this study we identified the maximum number of skeletal elements, including head fragments, vertebrae, ribs, carpals/tarsals, and shaft fragments. Further analyses included search for various bone surface modifications and the study of mode of bone fragmentation. We found minor loss of bones caused by various diagenetic process, and no signs of carnivore activity. These results suggest that most of the bone destruction was caused during time of occupation, probably for marrow consumption, as indicated by mode of bone fragmentation Absence of selective transport for gazelle (Gazella gazella) and fallow deer (Dama mesopotamica), the major prey species (with 70% and 20%, respectively), is supported by homogeneous representation of head-limb-toe elements. However, the carcasses may have been processed before transport to the site. Thus, a taphonomic analysis from NHV helps to illuminate the economy of NHV inhabitants and fine-tunes our understanding of the depositional history of the site. However, it does not overthrow results of earlier research using classical methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-156
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone fragmentation
  • Epipalaeolithic
  • Fallow deer
  • Faunal analysis
  • Gazzelle
  • Kebaran
  • Levant
  • Skeletal part representation
  • Surface modification
  • Taphonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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