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Les fouilles de Ain Mallaha (Eynan) de 2003 à 2005: Quatrième rapport préliminaire

François Valla 1 Hamoudi Khalaily 2 Helene Valladas 3, 4 Evelyne Kaltnecker 3, 4 Fanny Bocquentin 1 Cabellos Teresa 5 Daniella Bar-Yosef Mayer 6 Gaëlle Le Dosseur 1 Lior Regev 7 Vikki Chu 7 Steve Weiner 8 Elisabetta Boaretto 7, 8 Nicolas Samuelian 1 Valentin Boris 9 Sarah Delerue 10 Gerard Poupeau 10, 11 Anne Bridault 1 Rivkarivka Rabinovich 12 Tal Simmons 13 Iritirit Zohar 6 Shoshana Ashkenazi 12 Antonio Delgado Huertas 14 Baruch Spiro 15 Henk Mienis 16, 12 Arlene Rosen 17 Naomi Porat 18 Anna Belfer-Cohen 12
Abstract : This paper reports on the three seasons of excavations conducted at Eynan (Ain Mallaha) from 2003 to 2005. It is also aimed at recording the laboratory work that took place since the last report published (Valla et al. 2004). Following the presentation of new '4C dates, the paper describes Early Natufian burials (Locus 239), one of which includes two decorated skeletons in a plastered grave. The next sections are devoted to analyses of Final Natufian findings. Because most of the sequence inside each excavated structure is now known, special interest is devoted to the succession of the phases in their occupation. This results in a dynamic vision, which suggests that some buildings (possibly houses) were used intermittently, whereas others may have been occupied on a more continuous basis. Among new features uncovered during those last seasons, a fire pit in structure 228 and a structure that includes a deep mortar in working position are worth mentioning. New graves are described as well. The most unexpected among them is a pit where at least seven individuals from newborn to adult were successively buried. Lithic analyses include an attempt at reconstructing the way both Helwan and regular Final Natufian lunates were shaped. This demonstrates that the changes in retouch techniques are probably linked to the diminished size of the desired end product. Following a more traditional approach we examine then a sample of tools from the lower part of the Final Natufian layer. The results suggest that there is no major change in the flint assemblages during the time span represented by the layer. Obsidian study confirms that this material is coming from Cappadocia, as will be the case in the Southern Levant for most of the PPN. Faunal analyses include a note on mammal carcass treatment. New research on birds confirms that Final Natufian people mainly targeted waterfowls for food but new species of raptors are identified. A preliminary analysis of fish emphasizes the diversity in species. Two studies are devoted to crabs and land and freshwater mollusks respectively. They suggest that both crabs and terrestrial mollusks were probably used as food by the inhabitants of the site. Also of importance is the presence of Palearctic mollusks, which confirm that average temperatures were probably somewhat lower by the end of the Pleistocene than to day, as already suggested by Pichon. More bone tools confirm the trends already observed previously: this workmanship is deeply rooted in the tradition initiated during the Early Natufian phase. Hooks are relatively frequent. Of interest is the finding of a new "spoon", a tool that seems to be a Natufian invention. Due to poor preservation of vegetal remains, phytoliths are the main testimony of the use Natufian people made of flora. New samples confirm that reeds and sedges may have been used for building and matting, whereas a variety of grasses, among them small quantities of barley and wheat, were probably brought to the site for consumption. Finally, preliminary presentations of shell and stone beads are offered, followed by a description of the few incised stone items recovered lately. A discussion emphasizes the many time scales involved in the findings and the possible different readings allowed thereby.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 11, 2019 - 11:09:49 AM
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François Valla, Hamoudi Khalaily, Helene Valladas, Evelyne Kaltnecker, Fanny Bocquentin, et al.. Les fouilles de Ain Mallaha (Eynan) de 2003 à 2005: Quatrième rapport préliminaire. Journal of the Israel prehistoric society, Israel Prehistoric Society, 2007, 37, pp.135-379. ⟨hal-02013710⟩



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