Kaizer Hill (Modi'in), a pre-pottery neolithic a quarry site - the terraced slopes

Naama Goren-Inbar, Anna Belfer-Cohen, Leore Grosman, Gadi Herzlinger, Aviad Agam

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The research of the Kaizer Hill site (the Hilltop and its Terraces), recognized as a Pre Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) quarry site, involved studies of the rock damage associated with the quarrying activities as well as of the recovered material remains, mostly chipped stone artifacts. We present here the results of our on-site explorations (excavations, surveys and surfacecollections), focusing on the findings deriving from the Terraces. Diverse rock damage patterns were identified and described, portraying systematic rock mass-exploitation through quarrying fronts, natural rock joints and fissures enlargement, drilling and chiseling. There are multiple indications that the local bedrock (Bi'na Formation, Turonian) comprising flint and limestone was quarried under a systematic quality evaluation, leaving residual flint unsuitable for exploitation. Of interest to note that nearly all of the flint artifacts excavated and collected on the Terraces were made on raw material transported from the Hilltop (Mishash Formation, Campanian), knapped in-situ, on the quarried rock surfaces of the slopes. The flint tools bear witness to intensive use involving mainly boring and drilling. The dominant tool type is the flint axe for which a variety of waste products related to its production were found in-situ, enabling the reconstruction of axe reduction sequence. Similar axes and waste products were found in many PPN sites indicating that there was a common, widely-used scheme of making flint axes during the PPN. Interestingly, besides the flint waste, there were also limestone waste products typical of the last shaping and thinning stages of axe production, indicating that limestone axes were shaped technologically similar to the flint ones, contrary to what has been assumed before. Rare findings, such as obsidian pieces, originating from much further a-field indicate ties with other PPN communities, near and/or far. Overall, this study provides unique and novel insights on Levantine PPN lifeways.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0265727
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Goren-Inbar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Waste Products


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