The Late Epipaleolithic Natufian Culture was initially identified in Dorothy Garrod's excavation at Shuqba Cave (Wadi en-Natuf) in the Samarian Hills, but later research focused on the Mt. Carmel, the Galilee and the Negev regions, leaving the Natufian of the Central Highlands of the southern Levant relatively unknown. We report the recent discovery of a Natufian occurrence in a partly collapsed cave chamber in el-Hamam Cave in the Samaria Hills. The lithic assemblage assigns the site to the Late Natufian, with the possibility of occupation also during the Early Natufian. The faunal assemblage is small but diverse, indicating gazelle as the primary hunted animal. In spite of the limited scope of fieldwork, the site exhibits several landmark Natufian characteristics, including a large lithic assemblage with high diversity of tools, a bedrock mortar, typical faunal remains and groundstone implements. These traits indicate cultural complexity during the varied and prolonged use of the site (possibly multi-period occupation), reminiscent of the better-known Natufian camps in other parts of the Levant.
|Translated title of the contribution||מערת אל-חמאם: אתר נטופי חדש בהר שומרון|
|Number of pages||12|
|State||Published - 2015|