This is a reply to a rejoinder to our work in the Negev Highlands (Shahack-Gross and Finkelstein 2015) recently published by Bruins and van der Plicht in this journal (2017a). It addresses archaeological method and practice related to the way evidence for the timing of dry farming in the arid Negev Highlands, Israel, has been obtained. We highlight issues related to phytolith assemblages and livestock dung found in Negev Highlands sites as an indicator for presence/absence of cereal crops, and briefly discuss methods with which terraced agricultural plots in the region have been dated. We touch upon issues at the core of the scientific method, especially the need for proper controls and the importance of reporting full sets of data. Based on the new data presented by Bruins and van der Plicht (2017a, 2017b) we propose an alternative interpretation for their dating of a single terrace at Horvat Haluqim.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.
- Iron Age
- Negev Highlands
- terrace agriculture
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (all)