Flint knapping and the early bronze age i temple of megiddo, israel: Some aspects of the organization of late prehistoric cult

Ron Shimelmitz, Matthew J. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Early Bronze (EB) Ib Temple of Megiddo Level J-4, with its complex architecture, marks an important threshold in the development of complex societies that characterized the Early Bronze Age of the Levant. The temple was abandoned at the end of the EB Ib, leaving behind few traces of the activities performed within-the primary remains being deposits of animal-bone sacrificial waste found in different localities within the structure and its vicinity. Chipped stone tools and production waste were found together with these and other deposits nearby. Considering the paucity of other finds among the temple's assemblages, the chipped stone items constitute important evidence for activities within its vicinity, and perhaps its role in relation to the community within which it functioned. The lithic assemblage includes a wide range of tool types and waste indicating that knapping and a variety of activities occurred nearby the temple. The range of activities represented is characteristic of earlier Neolithic and Chalcolithic, as well as Bronze Age, cult buildings in the Mediterranean world. Overall, the architectural and lithic evidence demonstrates that while the Great Temple of J-4 represents major innovations in the organization of cult that will become characteristic of the Bronze Age, there were also certain profane activities associated with the temple, as in other early sacred spaces. Furthermore, this study emphasizes the potential that lithic assemblages have for contributing to the understanding of the dynamic roles of cult buildings in general from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age and how the mundane and sacred commingle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-78
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Mediterranean Archaeology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Early bronze age
  • Evolution of cult
  • Levant
  • Lithic technology
  • Megiddo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Archaeology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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