The Late Natufian at Raqefet Cave: The 2006 Excavation Season

Daniel Nadel, György Lengyel, Fanny Bocquentin, Alexander Tsatskin, Danny Rosenberg, Reuven Yeshurun, Guy Bar-Oz, Daniella E. Bar-Yosef Mayer, Roni Beeri, Sagi Filin, Israel Hershkovitz, Lior Weissbrod, Anna Kurzawska, Laurence Conyers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A long season of excavation took place at Raqefet cave during the summer of 2006. In the first chamber we exposed an area rich with Natufian human burials (Locus 1), a large bedrock basin with a burial and two boulder mortars (Locus 2), an in situ Natufian layer (Locus 3), and two areas with rich cemented sediments (tufa) covering the cave floor (Loci 4, 5). The latter indicate that at the time of occupation the Natufian layers covered the entire floor of the first chamber. During the ensuing millennia, these were washed away and/or removed by later visitors to the cave. We found in the cave and the terrace almost 80 human-made bedrock holes (most of which are commonly but somewhat erroneously termed mortars and cupmarks). Several contained in situ Natufian remains, and at the top of one a human skeleton was unearthed. The variety of the HBHs, in terms of shape and dimensions indicates that they were used in many ways, some of which could not have been for food or mineral processing. The paper provides results of on-going studies regarding the burials, the HBHs, the flint assemblage, the faunal remains, the ground stone industry, the bone tools and the beads. It also presents aspects of geoarchaeology and ground penetrating radar analyses. Some of the detailed plans and sections were prepared by the use of photogrammetry.
Translated title of the contributionנאטופית המאוחרת במערת רקפת: עונת החפירות של 2006
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-131
Journalמתקופת האבן
StatePublished - 2008


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