Intra- and inter-site high-resolution geometrical analyses of Natufian bedrock features

Sagi Filin, Vera Miller, Danny Rosenberg, Dani Nadel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bedrock features such as mortars and cupmarks were first documented in the southern Levant from the late 1920's. They first appear in Natufian sites (15,500–11,500 Cal BP), found in all ecological settings and in some cases encompassing tens and even more than 100 specimens per site. Recent advances in photogrammetry and 3D modeling technology provide new avenues for high-resolution documentation, characterization and analysis of these stone hewn features. Here, we extend our previous analyses and use our characterization method to analyze and compare a variety of mortars and cupmarks from two Natufian sites in distinct ecological settings: Raqefet Cave (Mt. Carmel) and Rosh Zin (Negev desert). We document the richest clusters of bedrock features at each site and quantitatively analyze their geometric form. Detailed analysis is provided for 13 specimens from both sites. We then perform an intra- and inter-site analysis of the mortars morphology and spatial characteristics, e.g., density and volume related.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-107
Number of pages14
JournalQuaternary International
StatePublished - 2 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Fieldwork at Raqefet Cave was supported by funds from the National Geographic Society (Grant #8915-11), the Wenner-Gren Foundation (Grant #7481) and the Irene Levi-Sala CARE Archaeological Foundation. The authors thank Eli Crater Gershtein for providing photos from Rosh Zin.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA


  • 3D modeling
  • Bedrock features
  • Geometrical analyses
  • Ground stone tools
  • Natufian
  • Photogrammetry
  • Raqefet Cave
  • Rosh Zin
  • Southern levant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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