Taphonomy, subsistence economy, and paleoecology of the Kebaran hunter-gatherers of Hefzibah

G. Bar-Oz, O. Zackheim, T. Dayam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The transition from hunting and gathering nomadic societies to true fanning communities took place during the Levantine Epipaleolithic sequence (20,000-10,000 BP) of Kebaran, Geometric-Kebaran, and Natufian cultures. Starting with the advent of sedentism during the Natufian, a change in demography and intensification of environmental exploitation occurred. We studied the faunal remains from Hefzibah, a large Geometric-Kebaran open-air site on the northern coastal plain of Israel. The Geometric-Kebaran economy and paleoecology are key to understanding the Natufian shift in culture and economy. The bone assemblage comprises 10 mammalian and 2 reptilian species. Bone fractures, burnt bones, and cut marks indicate consumption of most of these species. The major prey species at Hefzibah, as in other Epipaleolithic sites in the area, are mountain gazelle (Gazella gazella, 73%) and fallow deer (Dama mesopotamica, 20%). All body parts are represented at the site. Similar proportions of these species were found in the nearby sites of Nahal Hadera V (Kebaran) and Newe-David (Geometric-Kebaran). Other game species include auroch (Bos primigenius), hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), wild boar (Sus scrofa), and wild horse (Equus sp.). Small game species include hare (Lepus capensis), tortoise (Testudo graeca), hedgehog (Erinaceus europeus), and fox (Vulpes vulpes).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-158
Number of pages2
JournalIsrael Journal of Zoology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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