The natufian is still a "revolution": Intensification and sedentismin the natufian sequence of el-Wad Terrace, Mt. Carmel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Natufian Culture (ca. 15,000-11,700 BP) is renowned for the early appearance of durable stone architecture, hewn bedrock features, cemeteries, and art in the archaeological record of the Levant. Consequently, in the early days of research, the Natufian was viewed as a major break from preceding Paleolithic cultures. Growing archaeological evidence in the last three decades has placed the Natufian Culture in context, demonstrating its Epipaleolithic roots. Rather than making a sudden appearance, this unique sedentary foraging society, on the verge of agriculture, was therefore viewed as gradually evolving of the preceding Epipaleolithic cultures. However, it is argued here that downplaying the change in the Natufian was premature. A comparison of economic trends (prey abundances and prey culling patterns) and taphonomic markers of occupation intensity among four sites along the Israeli littoral, representing the entire Epipaleolithic span, shows that Early Natufian traditions at the key site of el-Wad Terrace constituted a significant break from former traditions. The Early-Late Natufian variations in economy and occupation intensity were comparatively subtle. The notion that the Natufian constituted more of a 'revolution' than a gradual development has important implications on understanding the long and non-linear transition to settled life and farming in the prehistoric Near East.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSuyanggae and Her Neighbours in Haifa, Israel
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 20th (1) Congress June 21-28, 2015
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9781784915391
ISBN (Print)9781784915384
StatePublished - 13 Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Archaeopress and the authors 2017.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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