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Yosef Garfinkel, Talia Goldman, Danny Rosenberg, Anna Eirikh-Rose and Zinovi Matskevich


The site of Hamadiya (Khirbet esh-Soda) is in the Beth Shean Valley, which is part of the central Jordan
Valley. It is near Kibbutz Hamadiya and ca. 10 km south of the well-known Neolithic site of Munhata.
The site is located ca. 200 m below sea level, adjacent to the Nahal Harod riverbed, not far from its
confluence with the Jordan River.1 Like Hamadiya, several other Neolithic sites in the central Jordan
Valley are also situated adjacent to or on one or another of the western tributaries of the Jordan. An
analogous geographical pattern can be seen in the locations of the late prehistoric sites of Gesher, Tel
>Ali, Munhata, Sha>ar Hagolan and Tel Tsaf (Garfinkel and Miller 2002: 10–11). These sites are thus
seated in deltas where streams flow into the Jordan Valley. The traditional explanation for this pattern of
settlement is attributed to its advantages for agriculture and the cultivation of land (Prausnitz 1959; Bar-
Yosef 1992). In addition, river valleys also provided the most convenient transportation routes between
different regions. Therefore, those rather large sites were situated at crossroads between the north–south
route created by the Jordan Valley and the east–west routes created by its tributaries.

Today there is a small spring, >Ein es-Soda (Arabic for the “Spring of the Stork”), in its immediate
proximity. The local geological formations are basalt flows, some of which originated from the Hamadiya
eruption center (Ilani and Peltz 1997). The site location provided its inhabitants with rich sources of raw
materials—flint and limestone pebbles, basalt and clay for pottery production. The nearby Harod and
Jordan Valleys abounded with aquatic-based fauna, such as fish, water fowl and other birds and wild
animals. In addition water resources were important for herds of sheep and goats, which were fully
domesticated in the Pottery Neolithic period.


The site was first discovered by Nehemiah Tzori who, as early as 1945, conducted intensive archaeological
surveys in the Beth Shean Valley, which led him to report on a large number of Neolithic and Chalcolithic
sites there (Tzori 1958). Tzori’s survey identified two Neolithic sites, 2–2.5 km west of the Jordan Valley

1 There is also a Pre-Pottery Neolithic site of the same name, which is in another nearby location. For an explanation
of this confusing nomenclature, see below.
Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

near Kibbutz Hamadiya. One of them, which he labelled No. 20 and named “el-Khirbet es-Soda,” was
described by him as an area of 50 acres with a large number of remains scattered over them. Finds include
lithics of grayish flint, axes, scrapers and saws, as well as arrowheads (Tzori 1958: 46). Also noted were
many fragments of pottery, rims, knobs and small loop handles. Some of these last were decorated with
incised herringbone patterns and others were gray and burnished. Notably, the coordinates he gave,
according to the Old Israel Grid are 2000/2421 (see below).
Neolithic pottery decorated with incised herringbone patterns became known from Stekelis’
excavations at Sha>ar Hagolan beginning in 1949. Thus, similar sherds collected by Tzori at Site 20 and
Munhata clearly indicate they were Pottery Neolithic sites of the Yarmukian culture, as described by
Stekelis following his excavations at Sha>ar Hagolan (Stekelis 1951, 1972).


Kaplan was probably attracted to the site after learning of Perrot’s (1964, 1966) large scale excavations at
nearby Munhata. In November 1964 Kaplan undertook a brief field season at a Pottery Neolithic site near
Kibbutz Hamadiya, to which he gave its name. Its location in the Old Israel Grid was noted as 2000/2141
(Kaplan 1965a, 1965b), which suggests to us that Kaplan’s “Hamadiya” site is one and the same as
Tzori’s Site 20. That is unfortunate, as Tzori (1958) had mentioned another Neolithic site in the region,
numbered 21 in his survey, located 600 m west of our site, which he also called “Hamadiya” but which
was dated to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period. These ascriptions by different scholars is unfortunate
as they cause confusion. In one instance one name, Hamadiya, is ascribed to two different sites with
occupations of different periods (i.e., Pre-Pottery Neolithic and Yarmukian Neolithic respectively),
while in the other, one site has two different map references. The exact location of Kaplan’s excavations
is not known, as it was covered over the years.
Results of Kaplan’s excavations were reported in short notes and news formats, first in Hebrew (Kaplan
1965a) and later in French (Kaplan 1965b), with the latter publication including one field photograph
(Kaplan 1965b, Pl. XXVII: a). A later report appeared in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological
Excavations in the Holy Land. It stated: The ancient remains were discovered in a shallow depression in
the brown soil that overlaid the basalt bedrock. In the center of the depression was a vein of basalt tuff with
a diagonal incline. The Neolithic settlers managed to cut pits and depressions into this tuff. Immediately
below the surface, a Neolithic settlement of the Yarmukian stage was unearthed that extended over an
area of about 100 sq m. No remains of buildings were found. The inhabitants apparently found shelter in
huts or tents. A few ovens and fireplaces were uncovered in the floor, as were a number of depressions and
pits that probably had been dug for storage purposes. A workshop for the production of flint sickle blades
was of special interest. In the workshop, located outside the excavated area, were more than 300 sickle
blades ready for use, together with thousands of chips of industrial waste. Among the sickles were a great
many that had apparently been brought there in order to have their blunt or broken serration reworked.
Trial trenches dug around the excavated area produced only sterile earth. Thus, it seems that the small
area excavated was inhabited by a single household or, at most, a camp. This household was probably one
link in a chain of similar small settlements scattered nearby (Kaplan 1993: 560–561).
From Kaplan’s descriptions, it seems he excavated in three different locations of the site. A primary
area measured 100 sq m and several trenches around it yielded archaeologically sterile sediments.
Another location ca. 100 m south of the primary excavation, called “the workshop,” yielded ca. 300
denticulated sickle blades and debitage from their production. Unfortunately there is no additional
documentation of the field work, not even an excavation map, beyond some notations of loci from which

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

artifacts derive, and elevations of finds. All that remains of this excavation is an assemblage of artifacts,
which are discussed below by the authors of this paper, each according to his expertise.


Owing to the lack of documentation, the entire flint assemblage is discussed as a single unit with a
focus on its typological aspects. The flint typology was done in three different stages. Initially the
assemblage was divided into technological groups (Table 11.1.1). In the second stage the tools and cores
were divided typologically (Table 11.1.2). Tools were also checked for the types of blanks from which
they were fashioned, (i.e., flake, blade, primary element, core trimming element or varia) and whether
they were heat treated (i.e., were they burnt, heated, or did they undergo no heat treatment). Some tool
types were documented for their breakage patterns, while arrowheads were also measured for that and
for the location of their breakages, when applicable. As noted by Matskevich (2005, 2011) there is no
unifying typo-technological list for Pottery Neolithic entities. Accordingly, the list of types below is
based on those known from Sha>ar Hagolan, with minor adjustments.

Data on the raw material in this assemblage are based on observations by Dr. Christophe Delage, who briefly
examined some sickle blades, bifaces, knives, arrowheads and cores, and on macroscopic examination by the
authors of this particular study. Most of the raw material is fine-quality flint, available as chert cobbles in nearby
water courses. While the majority of the chert observed is of Eocene origin, some derives from Cenomanian
sources. Most of the raw material is brownish-gray in color and uniform in appearance. Exceptions are a few
tool type categories such as bifaces; some of them are made on coarse-grained silicious limestone.
Three different states of cortex were observed on flint cobbles:
1. A type of battered cortex is found on highly rolled cobbles with almost hammerstone textures
owing to the intensive energy of streams from which they derive. A good candidate for producing
that kind of texture is the Yarmuk River.
2. Abraded cortex is associated with slightly rolled pebbles with white limestone incrustation. Those
pebbles derive from streams with moderate energy of the type located on both sides of the Jordan
Valley or in the highlands of the Yarmuk River
3. Pebbles and cobbles covered by a thick coat of limestone are know as “fresh cortex.” Those probably
were collected at upstream spots of rivers.
Some of the artifacts are made on flint not available in the immidiate vicinity of the site. Raw material
used to produce axes and end scrapers bear remains of fossils, similar to specimens from the Dishon River
in Upper Galilee. An arrowhead and a knife were made of Cenoman chert that may have come from the
area of Mount Carmel. Some pieces are pink in color, a possible result of heat treatment, a practice that was
widespread during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B. All non-local raw materials originate from less than 100
km distance indicating a limited exchange network size with high reliance on local resources. As opposed
to evidence from other Yarmukian sites, where reports indicate the use of low-quality raw materials (e.g.,
Gopher 1989; Matskevich 2005, 2011), the raw materials used by the knappers of Hamadiya are of fine quality.

2 This section prepared by Talia Goldman and Zinovi Matskevich.

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

Table 11.1.1: H amadiya: Breakdown of the Flint Assemblage by T ype

No. %
Primary elements 728 13.70
Flakes 1,429 27.00
Blades 534 10.10
Bladelets 178 3.40
Core trimming elements 270 5.10
Burin spall 36 0.70
Axe spall 4 0.10
Cores 92 1.70
Tools 1,500 28.30
Chips 319 6.00
Chunks 208 3.90
Total 5,300 100.00

As we know, the assemblage was collected without sieving, and considering the high percentage of
tools it contains, it is clear that flint was not collected systematically. Nevertheless, it appears that
collection by hand was intensive as indicated by the presence of cores and a high proportion of primary
elements. The presence of these elements indicates that raw material was brought to the site as pebbles
and knapped on-site. The proportion of flake debitage is considerably higher than that of blade debitage;
implying that a flake industry was dominant here, as it was at other Yarmukian sites.

Of the total of 92 cores found, 44 (47.8%) have one striking platform, 32 (34.8%) have two striking
platforms and 16 are amorphic (17.4%). Most cores with two striking platforms have one dominant
platform and a second platform that was used less systematically.

Cores with One Striking Platform (Fig. 11.1.1a, b)

These are divided into three sub-types. The first sub-type is the most abundant in the assemblage
and makes up nearly 20% of the total number of cores. It is a core for blades or bladelets with
a single, flat flaking surface. Blanks were knapped from a flat, upper side, while a lower side
remained untreated and still bore a cortex. The striking platform was located at an end of one
of the long edges with ca. a 45 degree angle between the striking platform and the removal
surface. Striking platforms are plain, with no signs of preparation. This type of core was found
at Sha>ar Hagolan in surface collections, but only in low frequencies in the excavation (Barzilai
and Garfinkel 2006). Although this core type occurs not only at Hamadiya, its dominance in the
assemblage from the site makes it, for the present, a unique phenomenon. Blanks produced from
these cores are straight blades, similar to blades derived from naviform technology. These cores
allow comparatively high control over blanks produced with minimum preparation. The size and
shape of the blanks are very well suited to the production of sickle blades, which are the most
abundant tool type in the assemblage.

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

A second sub-type of core with one striking platform bears blade/flake removals around the
perimeter of the striking platform, without a single defined flaking surface. This type, which makes up
almost 16% of the cores, was used for the production of blade and bladelet blanks. A third sub-type,

Fig. 11.1.1a: Flint cores with one striking platform.

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

Fig. 11.1.1b: Flint cores with one striking platform.

which constitutes 12% of all cores, includes various types used for production of blades, bladelets and
flakes lacking shared attributes that allow them to be categorized as true sub-types.
The first two sub-types discussed here exhibit a well organized blade/bladelet production sequences
and know-how that can correspond to well trained knappers. The third category is more random and
represents occasional ad hoc knapping for production of flakes only.

Cores with Two Striking Platforms (Figs. 11.1.2–11.1.4)

These cores were classified by the relations between their two platforms—opposed (13 cores, 14%) and
not-opposed (14 cores, 15%); both types were used for the production of blades. All the cores showed
preference for one dominant striking platform from which most of the blades were removed. The non-
dominant platform was used at a different time, mainly before cores were discarded.
Morphologically, three opposed striking platform cores resemble naviform cores. This is in line
with recent evidence that naviform core technology so typical of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic continued
to the very end of this period and did not suddenly disappear at the beginning of the Pottery Neolithic
period. It seems that naviform technology still played a minor role in early Pottery Neolithic knapping
strategies. The early Pottery Neolithic opposed platform cores are roughly fashioned compared to Pre-
Pottery Neolithic B naviform cores as defined by Wilke and Quintero (1994). That seems to be the case
as well for this type of core from Hamadiya. We suggest the technology was not suddenly abandoned
but altered, becoming the practice of less than highly skilled specialist knappers. They, in turn, played a
somewhat different role in the economic life of the early Pottery Neolithic period than their Pre-Pottery
Neolithic predecessors.

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

Fig. 11.1.2: Flint cores with two striking platforms.

Amorphous Cores
These 16 cores have multiple striking platforms with little or no preparation. All were for the production
of flakes.

Cores: General Observations

The cores vary in size from medium to small. Most were found exhausted, implying extensive exploitation.
The raw material of the cores varies in quality; we observed differences within the group of one striking
platform cores. The raw material chosen for the production of blades is of better quality than for flakes. This
observation coincides with the notion that blade production is more standardized than flake production.

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

Fig. 11.1.3: Flint core with two striking platforms.

In general, the assemblage of cores indicates organized production by skilled knappers/craftsmen,

mostly of blades and bladelets, rather than opportunistic ad hoc knapping, although cores that bear
witness to the latter type of production are present. Flakes derive only from cores with one striking
platform and amorphic cores (N = 30), while the remainder (N = 62) were for the production of blades
and bladelets. Most of the striking platforms are punctiform and are treated with only minor preparation.

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

Fig. 11.1.4: Flint cores with two striking platforms.


Core trimming elements comprise 5.1% (N = 270) of the entire flint assemblage. The typological division is as
follows: 65 (24.1%) are ridge blades, 48 (17.8%) are core tablets, 60 (22.22%) are “side” elements (removing
old striking platforms), 57 (21.1%) are overshots, and 40 (14.8%) are varied types that cannot be categorized.
An average of three core trimming elements was removed from each core. “Side” elements,
overshots and core tablets derive from renewal of exhausted striking platforms and constitute 61% of
core trimming elements. There is a pronounced dominance of reviving core trimming elements over
core preparation elements, as opposed to the assemblage of Munhata, Layer 2b, where the opposite is

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

true. The presence of core trimming elements in the assemblages indicates the production of blanks
in-situ, but notably they are mostly for the renewal of blade production cores, implying initial core
preparation taking place elsewhere.

As presented in Table 11.1.1, most of the debitage collected is composed of flakes, with a ratio of three
flakes per blade. This ratio corresponds to other Yarmukian sites with flake production industries and
is considered one of the characteristics of the period (e.g., Garfinkel 1993; Gopher and Gophna 1993).
However, there was a preference for blade blanks for the production of tools over flakes, with the former
almost three times greater than the latter (Table 11.1.2), supporting the observation on the dominance
and importance of blade production in the assemblage based on core analysis.

Tools were classified into 16 different typological categories (Table 11.1.3). Selected items were drawn
and are illustrated in Figs. 11.1.5A, B–11.1.9.

Arrowheads (Fig. 11.1.5a, b; Table 11.1.3)

Most arrowheads (N = 35 = 72.92%) were broken. However, 23 (65.71%) display patterns of minor edge
breakage (distal, proximal or both), which allow for reconstruction of the type and good estimations of
their original sizes. Twelve fragmentary arrowheads could not be classified and were excluded from the
sample represented in Fig. 11.1.5A, B.
While Pottery Neolithic arrowheads are most common, there are Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
arrowhead types within the Pottery Neolithic assemblage. They can be identified by raw material
(pink chert, a result of heat treatment), shape (typology) and workmenship. They include two Jericho
points, one Byblos proximal edge with Abu Ghosh pressure retouch, and an unidentified fragment.
Two of the arrowheads originate from a pit, but there is no indication where the pit was located. Also,
two Jericho arrowheads were found, one of which is made of a raw material that is not used in other
tools at the site.
Arrowhead types are significant for the relative chronology of the Neolithic period (Gopher 1994).
Size matters, as the ratio of small arrowheads (<4 cm) to large arrowheads (>4 cm) can inform on the
relative age of a site. However, since there was no sieving in the excavation of Hamadiya this ratio in the
collected assemblage is likely to be biased in favor of larger specimens.

Table 11.1.2: H amadiya: Distribution of Flint Tools by T ype of Blank

Type No. %
Flakes 351 23.40
Blades 827 55.10
Primary elements 147 9.80
Core trimming elements 52 3.50
Varia 69 4.60
Unidentified 54 3.60
Total 1500 100.00

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

Fig. 11.1.5a: Flint arrowheads.

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

Fig. 11.1.5b: Flint arrowheads.

Table 11.1.3: H amadiya: T ypology of the Flint Tools by T ypes and Sub -types

Tool Type No. % Sub-Types No. %

Arrowheads 48 3.20 In preparation 5 10.4
Jericho 2 4.2
Amuq 7 14.6
Byblos 17 35.4
Nizzanim 4 8.3
Fragment 13 27.1
Sickle blades 443 29.50 Fine denticulation 19 4.3
Deep denticulation 390 88.0
Wide denticulation 18 4.1
Varia 16 3.6
Bifacial tools 39 2.60 Axes 25 64.1
Chisels 10 23.1
Adzes 1
Varia 1
Knives 17 1.10 Tabular knives 3 17.6
Bifacial knives 14 82.4
Side scrapers 2 0.10
End scrapers 48 3.20 End scrapers on flake/blade 34 70.8
Carinated scrapers 12 25.0
Coarse scrapers 2 4.2
Burins 58 3.90 Dihedral 7 12.1
On truncation 14 24.1
On natural face 34 58.6
Double burin 3 5.2
Truncations 39 2.60 Distal 26 66.7

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

Tool Type No. % Sub-Types No. %

Proximal 13 33.3
Awl 88 5.90 Double awls 4 4.6
Bec 14 15.9
Epin 70 79.6
Borers 21 1.40 Double borer 2 9.5
End borer 7 33.3
Whole borer 7 33.3
Borer point 5 23.8
Notches 105 7.00 One notch 41 39.1
More than one 64 61.0
Denticulates 39 2.60 Denticulates 30 76.9
Fine denticulate 9 23.1
Retouched pieces 274 18.30 Plain retouch 144 52.6
Fine retouch 59 21.5
Abrupt retouch 57 20.8
Pressure retouch 13 4.7
Bifacial retouch 1 0.4
Double tools 12 0.80 Awl + end scraper 3 25.0
Awl + burin 3 25.0
End scraper + burin 3 25.0
End scraper + denticulte 2 16.7
Varia 1 8.3
Signs of use 238 15.90 Primary elements 32 13.5
Flakes 89 37.4
Blades 100 42.0
Core trimming element 9 3.8
Burin spall 2 0.8
Varia 6 2.5
Varia 29 1.90
Total 1500 100.00

As larger types were probably collected more meticulously, the proportion of types within the
arrowheads are of interest. In Hamadiya, Byblos type arrowheads are far more frequent than the Amuq
type, with 2.4 Byblos points per one Amuq point as opposed to one Byblos point per 12 Amuq points at
Sha>ar Hagolan.

Sickle Blades (Fig. 11.1.6; Tables 11.1.3–4)

Sickle blade is the most common tool type in the assemblage and constitutes a very high percentage
(29%, 443 items) of the tools. There are four sub-types represented in the assemblage:

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

Sickle Blades with Deep Denticulation (N = 390, 88.0% of Total)

This is the typical Yarmukian sickle blade of the early Pottery Neolithic period. Denticulation on this
type is shaped by bifacial retouch in most instances and appears at least on one lateral side of the tool.
The second lateral edge was designed in various ways as specified in Table 11.1.4. The most common
group is sickle blades with one denticulated lateral edge and the second edge unworked with no additional
treatment. However, almost 59% of the sickle blades did have retouch of some sort on their second lateral
edge. Abrupt retouch is common and possibly well fit for hafting the blades. Sickle blades with two
denticulated lateral edges are not very common in the assemblage. It is assumed that the second edge
was denticulated to replace the first edge after it was dull. The low percentage of this group suggests
a low cost of producing new sickle blades (as a result of the abundance of raw material and short time
required to prepare sickle blades).

Sickle Blades with Fine Denticulation (N = 19, 4.3% of Total)

This type of sickle blade is used during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period. The objects are trapezoidal
in cross-section with fine denticulation on one lateral edge. Two of these tools are of heat-treated flint.
It is likely that these examples are residual from an earlier occupation, possibly encountered by Kaplan
in his test trenches, and which he was unaware of as elsewhere they are unknown in the early Pottery
Neolithic period.

Sickle Blades with Wide Denticulation (N = 18, 4.1% of Total)

This type of denticulation was made by bifacial invasive, flat retouch, which created elongated scars on
both lateral edges of these blades. The raw material used for knapping these sickle blades is different in
color from other sickle blade types and it is whiter. This type is known from Jericho IX assemblages, but
here it is in a Yarmukian context.

Varia (N = 16 items, 3.6% of Total)

The remaining 16 sickle blades are of indeterminate types and classified as varia. These are items that
have typical sickle gloss, indicating their functions, but otherwise lack characteristics that allow them
to be attributed to one of the above-mentioned sub-types. This group may include examples that were
heavily used or so worn they lost their retouched features.
Two uniform types of blanks were chosen for the Yarmukian sickle blades in this assemblage.
One type is characterized by its thickness and was used for the manufacture of sickles with abrupt
retouch. The other type of sickle blade blanks is characterized by a straight profile, rectangular shape
and trapezoid cross-section. Using these blanks enables altering their second edge during usage (e.g.,
denticulate surfaces with regular retouch). Sickle blades with abrupt retouch were carefully made

Table 11.1.4: H amadiya: Opposed Lateral Edge T reatment of Sickle Blades

Opposing Side No. %

Unretouched 162 41.50
Regular retouch 47 12.10
Abrupt retouch 124 31.80
Denticulated 57 14.60
Total 390 100.00

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

Fig. 11.1.6: Flint sickle blades.

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

on selected thick blanks so that their abruptly retouched edge would be suitable for future hafting
techniques of these tools. This may imply a different type of sickle blade composite tool than the other
types of sickle blades.
Proximal and distal edges of denticulated sickle blades were treated in various ways. Some were
bifacially retouched, mostly by pressure retouch. Others were truncated, broken, plain, or triangular in
shape (probably for the hafting edges of the composite tool). Most sickle blades were not broken and
medium size in their dimensions.
Kaplan concluded, from the large quantities of sickles he found that he had uncovered a “sickle
blade workshop.” In a “sickle blade workshop” we would expect to find evidence of the different
production stages of sickle blade as cores, blanks and evidence for the renewal of dull sickle blades,
etc. Notably, no special evidence for any stage of sickle blade production was detected in the
assemblage. The only evidence that corresponds to high sickle blade production is the flat cores with
one striking platform that were probably used for the production of blade blanks suitable for making
sickle blades.
Renewal of the sickle blades can be detected when different sheen distribution patterns appear on
the renewed edges or by the presence of the detached waste. A considerable part of the sickle blades
show multiple episodes of renewal and usage. Blades commonly show a fresh working edge after
usage and some were left with a used working edge after their renewal. One sickle blade presents a
sparkle on one edge and a hinged burination that removed almost all of the sheen. Without the hinge
fracture, the blade would look like an unused blade blank. This kind of spall was not detected in the
assemblage and is not expected considering the collecting methods of the site. This various evidence
of sickle blade usage is typical of all sickle blade types (with deep denticulation, fine denticulation
and wide denticulation) and therefore is not limited to the large Yarmukian sickle blade cache that was
described by Kaplan.
Unfortunately, there is no documentation concerning which part of the assemblages was found
in the so-called “workshop” area. However, a total of 209 sickle blades were collected and assigned
to one “basket” (i.e., presumably a single excavation unit in a defined area) and 64 in another.
Those baskets are probably from Kaplan’s so-called workshop. In addition to the sickle blades the
two baskets contained one long, finely-made, retouched ridge blade, an awl, and four arrowheads.
All the sickle blades from these baskets are Yarmukian and do not differ from other sickle blades
found in other parts of the assemblage. If we take out from the 443 sickle blades the two baskets
that presumably originate from the “workshop,” sickle blades will still be dominant in the tools (170
sickle blades).
The interpretation of sickle blade workshop is problematic with no intra-site spatial information.
The high percentage of sickle blades demands explanation but what one expects of a workshop (e.g.,
unused sickle blades ready for use, sickle blade debris) was not found (see above). Thus, although we
do find different stages of sickle blade use and used and repaired sickle blades, this is not a sufficient
indication for a designated on-site workshop. In addition, since most sickle blades in Hamadiya were
found used, the suggested ”workshop” area could be a cache of sickle blades that was deposited after
use or only a sort of repair place of sickle blades. The cach could have served farmers from the site of
Hamadiya itself or from other sites in the area.
Dominance of sickle blades in lithic assemblages is known from sites on the Coastal Plain (e.g.,
Giva>at Haparsa and Nizzanim). Those two assemblages also have an abundance of arrowheads, which
may be explained by their function (Gopher 1993). The Pottery Neolithic occupation at Jericho, which

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

also has a large quantity (i.e., 45.1% of total flint assemblage) of sickle blades (Crowfoot-Payne 1983),
but no hypothesis for explaining that quantity is available.

Bifacial Tools (Fig. 11.1.7; Table 11.1.3)

Axes are the most common type of bifacials (N = 25, 64% of the bifacials) in the Hamadiya
assemblage. Nine examples bear polish, of which six are complete and three are broken. Of these
last, two are fragments of cutting edges. Of the six complete axes, three are elongated. The polished
axes were of high quality flint similar to that used for most of the assemblage. Notably, two of
those were made of tabular flint. The remaining axes, were not polished and included only one
which was broken. The unpolished axes are of lighter colored, coarser raw material with higher
lime content.
The assemblage includes four axe spalls; thus the ratio of spalls to tools is 1:9.75. Their existence
in the assemblage testifies to the renewal of the axes on site. Ten chisels were defined by their elongated
proportions. Out of the chisels one was polished. Flint used for chisels is similar to the raw materials
used for unpolished axes.

Knives (Fig. 11.1.8; Table 11.1.3)

Seventeen knives comprise a little more than 1% of the tools. Three are of tabular flint and are retouched
only on one working edge, with most of the blank’s original cortex cover still visible. Ten of the knives
are retouched bifacially over their entire surfaces and show a lentil-shaped cross-section. Four knives are
partially retouched on their two faces. Retouch on these tools is always by pressure, usually diagonally.
The quality of the retouch indicates highly skilled knappers and meticulously produced knives with a
fine lenticular cross-section. All examples were found broken, nine both on their proximal and distal
edges and the remainder medially or only one of their edges. Raw materials selected for knife production
was of good quality as was that chosen for most other tools found, probably suggesting that these knives
were knapped at the site. By contrast, tabular flint cannot be found in the vicinity of the site and had to
be brought from elsewhere.

Side Scrapers (Table 11.1.3)

Only two side scrapers were found in the assemblage. They are defined by massive step retouch along
one of their edges.

End Scrapers (Fig. 11.1.9: 4; Table 11.1.3)

Forty-eight end scrapers were found and classified by their morphology into regular end scrapers on
flake/blade, carinated scrapers and coarse scrapers. Most of the regular end scrapers exhibit fine semi-
circular retouch. A single thumbnail endscraper in this group was made from a blank smaller than 25
mm in length Of the carinated end scrapers, two were nosed.

Burins (N = 58; Table 11.1.3)

Burins were separated by the plain they were removed from. In most instances (N = 34) there is no
evidence of platform preparation prior to the burin blow. Other burins (N = 14) were made on truncations.
Of these (N = 8), the truncation was lateral, while in the remainder (N = 6) they were on distal edges. The
remaining specimens (N = 10) are fewer in number and are either dihedral or double burins. Notably, there
are 36 burin spalls in the debitage (Table 11.1.1) and the ratio between burin to spall (1:1.6) is quite low.

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

Fig. 11.1.7: Flint axes.

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

Fig. 11.1.8: Flint knives.

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

Fig. 11.1.9: Flint tools: awls (1–2); borer (3); end scraper (4); pièce esquillée (5).

Truncations (N = 26; Table 11.1.3)

Thirty-nine truncations are known in this assemblage; 26 of them are on distal ends and 13 are on
the proximal side. Twenty-one are straight truncations, 11 are obliquely truncated, six have concave
truncations and one has a convex truncation.
On 26 items the truncation is located on the distal edge of the blank: 15 of the truncations are
straight, seven diagonal, three concave and one convex. On 13 items the truncation is located on the
proximal edge: six are designed straight, four diagonal and three concave.

Awls (Fig. 11.1.9: 1–2)

The majority of working edges of these tools are delicate and sharp and were probably designed for
perforating comparatively soft materials. Some with coarser working edges are less frequent in this
assemblage and were probably used for working harder materials. Three sub-types of awls (N = 63)
were recognized:

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

These awls are defined by two notches. This is the most common awl sub-type and it was divided into two
groups by the design of the working point. The epin sub-type 1, represented by the largest number (N =
45, 51.1% of the awls), includes finely fashioned awls with short and sharp working edges, and triangular
sections. The Epin sub-type 2 (N = 25, 28.4%) has a comparatively long and large working edge.

This type is less common (N = 14, 15.9% of the awls) than the epin and is typified by its convergent
retouch and lack of notch. Two different retouch types were detected in this group, fine retouch (N = 9)
and more massive retouch (N = 5).

Double Awl
This type (N = 4, 4.6%) has two active edges.

Borers (Fig. 11.1.9: 3; Table 11.1.3)

Borers (N = 21) are represented by several sub-types. The most common sub-types are end borers (N =
7) and complete borers (N = 7). Both sub-types comprise seven borers which are 33% of the borers. In
the end borers the working edge is limited to the distal part of the blank, allowing the user to hold the
item from the proximal side. In the complete borer the working edge is designed on the whole blank and
required its hafting for usage. Other sub-types (borer point and double borer) are much less common.
Awls outnumber borers in the assemblage implying a higher use of notching than drilling of coarser
materials. Also of note is the fact that among the awls delicate awls are more common.

Notches (Table 11.1.3)

Notches appear in moderate numbers in the assemblage (N = 105, 7% of the notches). Fourty-one notches
(39% of the total) have only one notch, with the remainder (N = 64, 61%), having more than one notch.
In five instances notches are located on distal ends of tools. Of these, two are on one-notched examples
and three on two-notched tools. In 11 instances of tools with two notches, the notches are symmetrically
made on two opposed lateral sides.

Denticulates (Table 11.1.3)

Most denticulates are ad hoc types with no special characteristics beyond showing evidence of expedient
retouch by non-specialists. The lesser quality of this group of tools emphasizes the generally higher
quality of the rest of the assemblage.
There is a group of finely retouched denticulates (N=9), recognized by its delicate retouch (serration)
done by highly skilled knappers on high quality blade blanks.

Retouched Items (Table 11.1.3)

Table 11.1.3 shows the frequency of retouched pieces by type of blank (flake, blade, bladelets, etc.). The
frequencies correspond to blank selection patterns for tool design (Table 11.1.2) and show dominance
of blades. Even when sickle blades are not counted, assuming that these were not necessarily produced
on-site, blade frequencies are still close to the blank selection pattern.
The retouched pieces were also divided by retouch type and it is clear that most of these pieces
bear regular retouch. Generally, minor effort was invested in the artifacts yet we observed differential

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

investment in diverse blanks. Blades were designed more meticulously than other blank types. Fine
retouch was most common for bladelets while pressure retouch, although not abundant, was more
dominant in the retouch blades. This category is better attributed to the microliths tool type.

Double Tools (Table 11.1.3)

Double tools are few (N=12, less than 1% of the tools) and in most instances one of the tools was an end scraper.

Varia (Table 11.1.3)

This category includes items that could not be assingned to any other category (N = 29, 1.9% of the
tools), e.g., a core with a single striking platform bearing retouch; three examples of a type known as
“pièce esquillée (Fig. 11.1.9: 5) and the rest are various fragments.

Signs of Use (Table 11.1.3)

This category includes blanks that bear less than ten mm of retouch or those that do not have continuous
retouch. Table 11.1.3 presents sub-types of this category. The items in this category show blank type
frequencies similar to those seen in the tools as a whole with a clear preference for blades rather than
flakes. This similarity supports the notion that the items included in this tool category were not created
by post-depositional processes but were the result of human selection and use although in this group
flake frequency is not far behind that of blades while other blank categories are less pronounced. This
is the same as in other tool categories and the retouched pieces. The majority of the items of this group
possibly represent tools used without secondary modification.

The Hamadiya flint assemblage consists of all the typical Yarmukian elements, denticulated sickle blades,
small arrowhead types, bifacial tools and knives. In addition it appears that it also includes some earlier Pre-
Pottery Neolithic B types, probably residual objects from some earlier occupation at the site, not detected
by Kaplan. Their identification is easier for some tool categories such as sickle blades and arrowheads, but
harder for other tool categories. Some arrowheads are probably residual as well. Typology is not the sole
indicator of these chronological differences. Raw materials can also imply earlier objects, as well as blanks
that underwent heat treatment typical to Pre-Pottery Neolithic Period blades. However, the majority of the raw
material in this assemblage is uniform and corresponds to what is known of Pottery Neolithic flint technology.
According to the typo-technological properties of the analyzed assamblage, the bulk of the assemblage
is clearly assigned to the Pottery Neolithic period. Not many comparable lithic assemblages are available,
but what is known is that flake production dominated at all known assemblages of the period. Most reported
assemblages are composed of ad hoc tools that were made for immediate use, with little evidence for
curation. Accordingly, knappers of the period, who worked on site, are considered to have exhibited low
levels of specialization with no particular knapping skills. There are, however, some exceptions as attested
to by some meticulously made tools. For a different interpretation, see Matskevich 2011.
Similarly the flint industry at Hamadiya is oriented to the production of blades, as can be seen
by the high percentage of blade cores and the high selection of blades as blanks for tools. Although
the assemblage is not the result of systematic collection by the excavator, nevertheless, all stages of
the knapping process are represesented, indicating that blade production occurred on-site. The major
difference between Hamadiya and other contemporary Pottery Neolithic sites is that at Hamadiya, much
of the blade production was performed by skilled knappers.

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

Two peculiar traits exist in the composition of the assemblage: the first is the abundance of flat cores
with one striking platform and the second is the very high percentage of sickle blades. The flat cores
do occur at other sites but in much lower percentage than in Hamadiya. It is of note here that although
carefully made naviform cores for the production of straight profiled elongated blades still exist during the
Yarmukian (Barzilai and Garfinkel 2006), they are much less abundant than in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic
B period. Moreover, these cores, when they appear in the Pottery Neolithic, are not as carefully made.
Most important, in most cases one of the striking platforms was dominant while the second was used only
when the core was almost exhausted. We think that flat cores with one striking platform also produced
very straight, profiled blades, but which were shorter than the blades removed from naviform blade
cores. Flat cores with one striking platform as opposed to the naviform cores needed a lower investment
of energy and less ”know-how” and yet provide products/blanks that were perfectly suitable for making
Yarmukian sickle blades. The blanks removed from these flat cores at Hammadiya were clearly those
used for the Yarmukian sickle blades, suggesting that the blanks (and tools) were produced on site.
The Hamadiya flint assemblage is primarily interesting for its large collection of sickle blades—
the “sickle blade workshop” a la Kaplan. Indeed, the percentage of sickle blades is striking and is
not comparable to any of the flint assemblages of contemporary occupation sites we know. However,
Kaplan’s notes indicating that the sickle blade collection was found adjacent to “the main excavation
area” cannot, unfortunately, be of use concerning the “workshop” suggestion, since the connection
between this area and other locations on-site remains obscure.
The most common type of sickle blade in the assemblage is the bifacial, denticulated type with
pressure retouch. Most of these are heavily worn and resharpened—a phenomenon that fits what we
would expect to find in a workshop for resharpening blades. However, contrary to our expectations,
no other stages of sickle blade production or resharpening were found. The high percentage of flat
cores cannot by itself represent the whole production sequence of sickle blades. Based on the available
evidence we cannot accept the “sickle blade workshop” interpretation. The high percentage of sickle
blades can fit a sort of cache, a place where used sickle blades were kept. The connection to the high
percentage of flat cores is not clear.
Whether or not there was a sickle blade workshop at the site remains a moot question. What is,
however, quite clear, is that even if a “sickle blade workshop” did not exist in Hamadiya, the knappers
responsible for tool production there were quite skilled and produced flint tools at least as part-time
specialists. As noted above, the Hamadiya toolkit consisted of all common household types, in percentages
that are similar to those from other Yarmukian sites. The exceptional aspect of this assemblage is the
unusually high quality of the tools. Other aspects are the abundance of specialized production, as seen
in the numerous examples of reduction sequences notable in the large number of blade cores (some with
one, others with two opposing striking platforms) and the use of highly standardized blanks for sickle
blades, bifacial knives and arrowheads. All these aspects are known from other Yarmukian assemblages,
but usually in significantly lower quantities (Barzilai and Garfinkel 2006; Matskevich 2005, 2011).


The pottery assemblage was first examined in 2000 at the Israel Antiquities Authority National Treasures
Storerooms and once again in 2013. The studied assemblage at that time included 221 pottery sherds, with
complete vessels. We know that additional sherds were distributed to the Harvard Semitic Museum (a

3 This section was prepared by Anna Eirikh-Rose and Yosef Garfinkel.

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

gift of Jacob Kaplan to Ernest G. Wright) and to Bar-Ilan University (on loan from the Israel Antiquities
Authority for a study collection). In addition it is not clear if the entire assemblage of excavated sherds
was kept, or whether only a selection was retained. Thus, the material presented in this report should be
considered as a representative sample. In the statistics we have provided, the number of sherds includes
only those available for study.
All the pottery was hand-made with no evidence of the use of a wheel or turning device. It is
possible to divide the assemblage into groups of “fine wares” and “coarse wares.” Vessels in the former
category are of delicate fabrics, probably made of sieved, finely levigated clay with small size grits
added. By contrast, coarse wares were made of clay containing many large and medium size grits. In
general Yarmukian potters used local clays, preferring those with high-carbonate contents that gave
fabrics a light brownish color (Goren 1991). The most popular grits were made of flint chips, basalt and
limestone particles, but sand and chopped chaff were also used.
All diagnostic sherds were counted and asssigned to separate categories, some based
on morphology such as rims, bases and handles and others classified by type of decoration. A
typological division is based on rim sherds because they are the most informative concerning sizes
and shapes of vessels. Statistical data concerning the assemblage are presented in Tables 11.1.5–7,
based on only 35 rims. The typological classification is based on that of the ceramics from Munhata
and Sha>ar Hagolan (Garfinkel 1992, 1999). Six specific types of pottery vessels were found at
Hamadiya. A seventh “type” is actually a catch-all category for sherds representing jars of different
types (see below):

Decorated Bowls (Sha>ar Hagolan Type C1; N = 7, 20.0% of Total)
These are deep bowls with nearly vertical, slightly curving walls (Fig. 11.1.10: 1–5). Usually bowls
of this type are of fine-ware with thin walls. The rims are tapered, rounded or flattened. As at Sha>ar
Hagolan, three principal types of decoration are known: incised, painted and red slipped. One vessel
with a particularly small diameter (Fig. 11.1.10: 1) greatly resembles small bowls of Type A1 from Sha>ar
Hagolan and Munhata Stratum 2B.

Kraters or Cooking-Pots (Sha>ar Hagolan Type E1; N = 2, 5.7% of Total)

This type of vessel is large and deep; its walls may be either straight or outwardly splayed. These are
roughly fashioned vessels with thick walls; their fabrics are coarse with much temper of non-organic origin.

Pithos (Sha>ar Hagolan Type E4).

These vessels are characterized by their especially large dimensions, which include particularly thick
walls in comparison to their overall dimensions (Figs. 11.1.11; 11.1.13: 3). Such pithoi were carelessly
fashioned. In some examples it is even possible to recognize vestiges of coiling used in their construction.
Two sub-types are discernible in the assemblage:

Holemouth Pithos (Sha>ar Hagolan Type E4a; N = 3, 8.6% of Total)

This vessel type has a large diameter and is the largest vessel in the pottery assemblage. Its walls extend
inwards, creating a holemouth form (Fig. 11.1.11). Near the rim, even sometimes touching it, are lug
handles that appear in a row at uniform intervals along the perimeter of the vessel.

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

Fig. 11.1.10: Decorated bowls (1–5) and basin (6).

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

Fig. 11.1.11: Large storage jars (pithoi).

Open Pithos (Sha>ar Hagolan Type E4b, N = 2, 5.7% of Total)

Another type of large storage vessel is the open pithos, with straight or slightly open walls.

Sha>ar Hagolan Jar (Sha>ar Hagolan Type D; N = 1, 5.7% of Total)

This type of jar (Fig. 11.1.12: 1–2) is typical of Yarmukian assemblages and has been designated by
Garfinkel (1992; 1999) as the “Sha>ar Hagolan Jar.” This type has a high, nearly vertical or slightly flaring
neck with everted rim and two loop handles extending from neck to shoulder. Only small fragments of
this type were found at Hamadiya.

Jericho IX Jar (Sha>ar Hagolan Type D2; N = 4, 11.4% of Total)

This type of jar (Fig. 11.1.12: 3) has a short vertical neck, or sometimes slightly everted rim and two
loop handles that extend from rim or the very beginning of the neck to shoulder. The jars have relatively
fallen shoulders and a rounded body, are coarse vessels with thick walls and are undecorated.

Holemouth Jar (Sha>ar Hagolan Type F1; N =10, 28.6% of Total)

This is the most common vessel type in most Pottery Neolithic assemblages (Fig. 11.1.12: 4–6). In
Hamadiya, as at all other Pottery Neolithic sites, usually these vessels were crudely constructed with
thick walls and rough surfaces.

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

Fig. 11.1.12: Jars (1–3) and holemouth jars (4–6).

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

Miscellaneous Jars without Handles (Sha>ar Hagolan Type F3; N = 6, 17.1% of Total)
This is a general category that includes jars with different types of necks and horizontal or sloping
shoulders. The sole shared feature is a lack of handles.

Additional Typological Features

In order to complete the typological analysis of the Yarmukian pottery available for study from Hamadiya
further information is given here concerning handles, bases and decorated sherds.

Only two types of handles are found in the Hamadiya assemblage.

A: Loop Handles (N = 10, 71% of the Handles)

Loop handles are round in cross-section.

B: Lug Handles (N = 4, 29% of the Handles)

The lug handle at Hamadiya is medium sized, straight or bent up.


At Hamadiya only two types of bases were found. Most are small relative to the widest segments of their walls.

A. Flat Bases (N = 13, 72% of the Bases, Fig. 11.1.13: 1–2)

This is the most common type of base in Neolithic pottery, and so at our assemblage.

B. Disk Bases (N = 5, 28% of the Bases, Fig. 11.1.13: 3)

This is the second most common type of base in Neolithic pottery, and so at our assemblage.


The Hamadyia pottery assemblage at the Israel Antiquities Authority National Treasures Storerooms
includes, due to discarded simple body sherds, a high percentage of decorated sherds. Six different kinds of
decoration are found in this assemblage (Table 11.1.8):

Herringbone Incisions (i.e., “Sha>ar Hagolan Decoration”; N = 57, 39% of the Decorated Sherds)
This is the most popular decoration (Figs. 11.1.14: 3–9; 11.1.15) encountered. Incisions appear in
horizontal and zigzag bands, sometimes combined with red slip and sometimes red painted bands. This
type of decoration is named after the eponymic site of Sha>ar Hagolan.

Incised Frames (N = 37, 25% of the Decorated Sherds)

As far as may be discerned in the fragments from this assemblage (e.g., Figs. 11.1.14: 1–2; 11.1.16), these
include incisions made prior to firing that form patterns of parallel horizontal and zigzag lines, similar
to the patterns of the Sha>ar Hagolan decorative technique, however, the classical herringbone pattern,
was not filled in. It seems as if the potter stopped mid-work.

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

Fig. 11.1.13: Bases: flat base (1–2), disc base (3).

Fig. 11.1.14: Sherds decorated with incised patterns.

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

Fig. 11.1.15: Sherds decorated with incised herringbone pattern.

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

Red Slip (N = 44, 30% of the Decorated Sherds).

This treatment is found on the outside of open and closed vessels. Sometimes it was also executed on
the inside of open bowls.

Wide Painted Bands (N = 5, 3% of the Decorated Sherds).

This category consists of red lines wider than 0.5 cm.

Thin Painted Lines (N = 1, 1% of the Decorated Sherds)

This category consists of red lines thinner than 0.5 cm. As known at other sites in the region, Sha>ar
ha-Golan and Munhata, this type of decoration appeared in small quantities, while wide painted line
decoration was more popular.

Plastic Decorations (N = 2, 2% of the Decorated Sherds)

In this group the decoration was executed by adding clay to the original face of the vessel.

These are bi-conical in form (Figs. 11.1.17; 11.1.18). Similar objects have been found at various Yarmukian
sites such as Munhata 2b (Garfinkel 1992, Fig. 85: 15–28) and Sha>ar Hagolan (Freikman 2006).

Table 11.1.5: H amadiya: T he Pottery Sherd Assemblage

Decorated Bases Handles Rims Diagnostics Total

146 18 14 35 213 221
66% 8% 6% 16% 96% 100%
69% 8% 7% 16% 100%

Fig. 11.1.16: Hamadiya sherds decorated with incised parallel lines.

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

Fig. 11.1.17: Bi-conical clay weights.

Fig. 11.1.18: Bi-conical clay weights.

Table 11.1.6: H amadiya: T ypology A nalysis of the Pottery*

Vessel Type C1 D1 D2 E1 E4a E4b F1 F3 Total

No. of rims 7 1 4 2 3 2 10 6 35
% 20.00 2.90 11.40 5.70 8.60 5.70 28.60 17.10 100

* The types follow the Mnhata typology (Garfinkel 1992).

Table 11.1.7: H amadiya: T ypology A nalysis of H andles and Bases

Handles Loop Handle Lug Handle Bases Flat Base Discus Base
14 10 4 18 13 5
100% 71% 29% 100% 72% 28%

Table 11.1.8: H amadiya: T ypology A nalysis of the Decorated Pottery Sherds

Type of Incised Incised Frame Red Slip Wide Painted Thin Painted Plastic Total
Decoration Herringbone Bands Bands Decoration
No. 57 37 44 5 1 2 146
% 39 25 30 3 1 1 100

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

The pottery from Hamadiya is a typical Yarmukian assemblage, albeit somewhat limited in the number
of types found. Those present are similar types found at Sha>ar Hagolan (Stekelis 1972; Eirikh-Rose and
Garfinkel 2002), Munhata (Garfinkel 1992), Abu Thawwab (Obeidat 1995), <Ain Ghazal (Kafafi 1990),
<Ain Rahub (Kafafi 1989), Nahal Qanah Cave (Gopher 1996) and Naḥal Zehora II (Gopher and Eyal
2012). The limited typology may be explained by the limited exposure of this site, and also its small size
relative to Munhata and Sha>ar Hagolan.


The groundstone assemblage of Hamadiya (N = 51; Table 11.1.9) includes upper and lower grinding
stones, vessels, pestles, celts, flaked discs, perforated items and three miscellaneous items cataloged as
varia. The perforated group includes weights, two pendants, maceheads and whorls (the last probably
for use with spindles). Included also are three rings or bracelets. As the assemblage is small and, owing
to a lack of documentation and contextual data, the present report is mainly descriptive. Nevertheless,
typological and stylisitc analyses allow for this assemblage to be related to other Yarmukian groundstone
assemblages (Rosenbnerg 2011; Rosenberg and Garfinkel 2014).


The sole lower grinding stone found is a sub-rectangular, bi-plano slab (Fig. 11.1.19: 1). This rather small (19.8
cm long, 15.6 wide, 5.7 cm thick and weighing 3.2 kg) object is of sandstone. It seems most likely this item
was not meant for food processing although this assertion could not be tested. Its concave grinding surface
bears smoothing marks, while grinding marks cover ca. 90% of its operative face (62 cm in circumference) of
tool. The base and edges seem to be partly modified by flaking, smoothing, and somewhat less so, by pecking.


Three upper grinding stones were recovered. One processor, oval in plan and plano-convex in cross-
section (Fig. 11.1.19: 2), is of fine-grained, compact basalt. A few scars characterized its ventral (active)
and dorsal faces. This small processor (weight: 953 g), possibly operated with one hand and has a single,
flat active face. Its production involved pecking and probably also smoothing of the dorsal face and edges.
Two small burnishers made of limestone and basalt, respectively, were found. The slightly damaged
limestone burnisher, which weighs 108 g (Fig. 11.1.1: 3), is a flat pebble that bears a series of incisions
perpendicular to the long axis on its slightly convex, active face. This striation may indicate the pebble
at one time functioned as a “mini-anvil” for cutting activity. The basalt item is complete, squat and
irregular in form (6 cm long, 5.2 wide, 4.1 cm thick and weighing 198 g), with a single, irregularly-
shaped, active face (not illustrated).

BOWLS (N = 13, 25.5% OF TOTAL)

These vessels are of different sorts of limestone (N = 12) and porous basalt (N = 1). They are
mainly diminutive fragments of rims, apparently of relatively small (in diameter and volume)

4 Section prepared by by Danny Rosenberg.

5 This refers to the total number of groundstone objects.

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

Table 11.1.9: T he Stone Tool Assemblage of H amadiya

Type/Raw Material Basalt Limestone Sandstone Total %

Lower Grinding Stones 1 1 2
Upper Grinding Stones 2 1 3 5.9
Vessels 1 12 13 25.5
Bowlets 2 2 3.9
Pestles 2 2 3.9
Celts 2 2 3.9
Weights 5 5 9.8
Spindle-whorls 5 5 9.8
Maceheads 3 3 5.9
Flaked discs 9 1 10 19.6
Varia 5 5 9.8
Total 16 34 1 51 100
% 31.4 66.7 2 100

globular bowls (Fig. 11.1.20). There are, however, a few body and base fragments in the assemblage.
Some of the limestone vessels show evidence of skilled craftsmanship; particularly notable are the
investments in the fine finishes and overall appearances of the vessels. One of those (Fig. 11.1.20:
1), of orange hued limestone with red veins and walls thinned at the tapered rim was highly
polished; its raw material was clearly chosen for the care taken in its finish. Another meticulously
made vessel is a shallow, globular bowl bearing knobs on its external wall near its rounded rim
(Fig. 11.1.20: 2). The two preserved knobs that somewhat broaden where they jut out from wall of
the vessel are oval in section.
Two fragments of bases recovered include a ring base of a bowl ca. 4 cm in diameter (Fig. 11.1.20:
3) and a disc base ca. 4.3 cm in diameter (Fig. 11.1.20: 4) Both are thin-walled, miniature vessels, well
executed and polished.
In some of the bowls, it is clear that the finish of the vessel was not a primary factor. Several objects
in this assemblage, two fragments of which appear to be large vessels (Fig. 11.1.20: 5–6), and one of a
shallow plate (Fig. 11.1.20: 7), are examples of objects for which the finish was not a primary factor. Two
of these fragments are seemingly of relatively large vessels (Fig. 11.1.20: 5–6) and one is of a shallow,
small and open “plate” (Fig. 11.1.20: 7). The single basalt vessel is a shallow bowl with thick, rounded
rim (Fig. 11.1.20: 8). Two additional vessel fragments (Fig. 11.1.20: 9–10) were also noted; one bears
striation marks (Fig. 11.1.20: 9).

BOWLETS (N = 2, 3.9% OF TOTAL)

These two bowlets were made from a small limestone cobbol and, probably, a reused vessel (Fig. 11.1.20:
11, 12). Their shallow, rounded wells (i.e., concavities), which cover most of their active faces, are
circular and nearly oval, respectively. One of these bears chiselling marks on the inside wall and the
other bears concentric striation grooves. These objects resemble items recently associated with bead
manufacture, known as “cup-stones” for drills (Wright, Critchley and Garrard 2008, Fig. 14: a).

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

Fig. 11.1.19: Lower grinding stone (1); upper grinding stones (2); burnisher (3).

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

Fig. 11.1.20: Groundstones: bowls and bowlets.

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

PESTLES (N = 2, 3.9% OF TOTAL)

These two complete pestles are of compact basalt were manufactured by pecking and smoothing. The
larger is barrel shaped (Fig. 11.1.21: 1). It weighs 925 g and it is possible that both its ends were used
for pounding. The second pestle (Fig. 11.1.21: 2) is conical (although also somewhat cylindrical) with
converging active end, a round cross-section and convex poles. This item weighs 326 g and in the middle
of the active end, a small drilling was noted, probably suggesting later, secondary use of the pestle.

Fig. 11.1.21: Hamadiya pestles (1–2) and celts (3–4).

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

CELTS (N = 2, 3.9% OF TOTAL)

These are an axe (Fig. 11.1.21: 3) and a “chisel’” (Fig. 11.1.21: 4), both of compact basalt. The axe is
relatively short, trapezoidal in plan and somewhat squat, with an oval cross-section. This complete tool,
which weighs 269 g, has a convex, blunt, active end bearing small scars. Its butt is flattened on one side
and slightly convex on the other. The widest part of the axe is at mid-body and most of its surface (ca.
75%), including the active end, much of its body and the butt, was polished. An area near the butt bears
evidence of pecking or batter marks that may have obliterated polishing. Alternatively, it is possible that
part of the body was intended for hafting and therefore was never polished. That, in turn, may suggest a
small dent made by battering, observed on the middle of one of the axe‛s faces was intended for containing
an adhesive which, together with the pecking marks, would have allowed an enhanced grip for the handle.
The “chisel” is an irregular elongated, smoothed pebble. It has a converging active end and a convex
butt. This item weighs 143 g. Its entire surface is smooth but convex; its active end shows evidence of
scar damage.

WEIGHTS (N = 5, 9.8% OF TOTAL)

These limestone weights (Fig. 11.1.22: 1–3) include two complete examples of which only one (Fig.
11.1.22: 1) is illustrated. Three are fragments of small weights, two of which are irregularly-shaped
and more or less, apparently centrally perforated (Fig. 11.1.22: 2–3). Fragmentation usually cuts through
the aperture. In cross-section they show irregular thicknesses. Others show bi-convex, sometimes flying
saucer-like or bi-plano cross-sections. They range in size between roughly 2.2 to 4.4 cm across and their
perforations, which are roughly circular and conical because they were drilled from both faces, range
between 1.2 to 1.8 cm at their openings and 0.6 to 1.5 cm at the junctures of the drillings. Estimations

Fig. 11.1.22: Weights and whorls.

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

of the weights of these items range between 10 and 60 g. Most are smooth. While for some it is obvious
that finishing was factor, others are less well finished.

WHORLS (N = 5, 9.8% OF TOTAL)

This group includes five limestone items presumably used as flywheels for spindles (Fig. 11.1.22: 4–8).
Two are relatively large; four are broken and one was found nearly complete. Piercings are complete in
two examples (Fig. 11.1.22: 5, 8) and incomplete in three others (Fig. 11.1.22: 4, 6, 7). One smooth, round
example is evenly lentoid in section (Fig. 11.1.22: 5) and nearly centrally pierced, apparently by skillful,
vertical drilling from its two faces, after which the traces of drilling appear to have been smoothed
over to give an evenly concave outline to the section of the perforation. Another nearly round, but more
fragmentary example (Fig. 11.1.22: 6), was less skillfully drilled conically, though obliquely from both
sides, as the irregular outlines of the section indicate. In section this whorl is nearly of a single thickness
and rounded at its edges. Another circular example was also drilled from both its smooth sides (Fig.
11.1.22: 7), albeit somewhat less than skillfully as its section indicates. Notably, in section the object is
thick and rounded on one edge and slightly tapered on the other. Another whorl is almost circular, but
has somewhat flattened planes at its edges, several of which are beveled (Fig. 11.1.22: 8). It is more or
less centrally pierced from both smoothed faces, and signs of drilling appear to have been eradicated by
smoothing, leaving the perforation with a convex outline.
Three are bi-convex and two are plano-convex in cross-section. The whole item weighs 13 g; it is
oval and bears signs of “faceting.” Maximum diameters range between 3.4 and 6.3 and thickness ranges
from 11–19 mm. Aperture diameters range from a maximum of 7–13 mm at their widest to a minimum
of 6–12 mm at their narrowest spot and usually both apertures (at both faces of the items) are of the same
diameter and are round. All are smoothed.


These items, all of light-colored (white and beige) limestone of different degrees of hardness (Fig. 11.1.23),
included a complete (N = 1) example and two fragments (N = 2). It seems that the perforation of these do not
allow the handle to withstands the kinetic energy of a substantial strike (Rosenberg 2010a). The perforations in
these objects are such that they are not likely to have withstood the kinetic energy generated by an substantial
striking of another object. The complete macehead is nearly piriform shape in cross-section (top part wider

Fig. 11.1.23: Maceheads.

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

than the converging lower part) and it is round in plan, but with a beveled plane on top (Fig. 11.1.23: 1). The
piercing, obviously drilled from top and bottom, was conical but smoothed over, although drill marks are
still visible. The opening in the top is significantly narrower than that in the bottom, apparently to allow for
insertion of a pole of substantial thickness. Notably, the upper opening is slightly off center. The widest point
of the perforation is 16 mm in diameter on the bottom and 9 mm on top. The macehead, which weighs 99 g, is
covered with marks of battering that were later somewhat smoothed over. A second macehead is represented
only by a fragment, and may also have originally been piriform, but it is broken on its longitudinal axis (Fig.
11.1.23: 2). The narrowest point in the diameter of the piercing, measured approximately at its center, is ca. 10
mm; the extant opening on the top is circular, but the drilling is oblique. Longitude smoothing marks (shallow
striations) are apparent on the body and drilling marks characterize the piercing. A third macehead is sort of
bulbous but irregularly shaped with one side significantly thicker than the other. The uneven, vertical break
and oblique and twisted perforation indicates it was pierced unsuccessfully (Fig. 11.1.23: 3).


The flaked stone discs (Fig. 11.1.24; Table 11.1.10) include complete objects of compact, non-vesicular,
gray basalt (N = 9, Fig. 11.1.24: 1–9) and of white limestone (N = 1, Fig. 11.1.24: 10). Blanks for
manufacture of these objects include pebbles, or fragments (N = 5) or thick flakes (N = 5). Most discs
were fashioned by bifacial flaking at their circumferences (N = 9), while one (Fig. 11.1.24: 8) was only
roughly shaped, with several facets left at its edge. Smoothing and pecking or battering is evident on
four items, usually on their convex faces. There is an even umber of circular discs and oval discoids. The
sole limestone example is circular. Cross-sections are roughly bi-convex (N = 5), plano-convex (N = 3),
convex-concave (N = 1) and irregular (N = 1).

Table 11.1.10: H amadiya: Attribute A nalysis for the Stone Disc Assemblage (Fig. 11.24)
No. Preservation Type Raw Material Length Width Thickness Diameter Weight Cross-Section
(cm) (cm) (cm) (cm) (g)
1 Whole Round Basalt 3 9.5 394 Convex-convex

2 Whole Round Basalt 1.8 6.9 100 Convex-Concave

3 Whole Round Basalt 3.4 8 303 Convex-convex

4 Whole Round Basalt 3.8 9.3 413 Convex-convex

5 Whole Oval Basalt 9.2 7.5 1.8 157 Amorphous

6 Whole Oval Basalt 7.3 7.2 2.2 146 Plano-convex

7 Whole Oval Basalt 6.4 6.2 1.7 93 Plano-convex

8 Whole Oval Basalt 6.6 6.3 1.7 101 Plano-convex

9 Whole Oval Basalt 9.2 8.6 2.1 217 Convex-convex

10 Whole Round Limestone 2.6 6.7 137 Convex-convex

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

Circular discs range in diameter between 6.7 and 9.5 cm (average of 8.1 cm, SD. 1.3), their thicknesses
range between 1.8 and 3.8 cm (average of 2.9 cm, standard deviation 0.8) and they weigh between 100
and 413 g (average 269.4 g; SD. 144.5). Oval discoids range in length between 6.4 and 9.2 cm in length
(average of 7.7 cm; SD. 1.4), which are similar to the length ranges and averages of diameters of circular
discs. The widths of these oval discoids range between 6.2 and 8.6 cm (average of 7.2 cm, SD. 1.0) and
their thicknesses range between 1.7 and 2.2 cm (average of 1.9 cm, standard deviation 0.2). Oval disc
weights range between 93 and 217 g (average of 142 g, SD. 49.9).

VARIA (N = 5, 9.8% OF TOTAL)

This category includes several limestone objects. Of particular note are two items. One is a complete,
miniature oval pallette (Fig. 11.1.25: 1), seemingly used as a surface for cutting, as its active face bears
striation or longitude cut marks. It has a bi-plano cross-section and rounded periphery. It weighs 67 g and
its opposite face may have been used for smoothing. The other item of interest is a small, circular disc-

Fig. 11.1.24: Groundstone flaked discs.

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

like object (Fig. 11.1.25: 2) with rounded edges, although one face is somewhat convex. This complete
object is notable for several scars on one of its faces. This item was found whole apart from a few scars
on one face. Possibly it was used as a miniature burnisher for shaping and smoothing by abrasion beads,
bracelets, and other stone, bone and wooden tools. Comparanda have been noted at other Neolithic sites
(see, e.g., in Rosenberg and Garfinkel 2014: 126).
In addition to the groundstone assemblage of regular artifacts, two pendants and three bracelets
were also found. As they are highly specialized objects they were not included in the total count of
this assemblage. The two pendants (Fig. 11.1.26: 1–2) are broken and are seemingly part of larger,
sub-rectangular items with more than one perforation. Both are made of white/gray limestone and are
smoothed. Drillings were from both faces, leaving conical perforations. Only small segments of the
bracelets (Fig. 11.1.26: 3–5) are preserved. They are of white limestone (N = 1) and reddish sandstone
(N = 2). One (Fig. 11.1.26: 4) is irregular but approaches a sub-rectangular form in section, while two are
nearly triangular in section (Fig. 11.1.26: 4), but with convex sides, one (Fig. 11.1.26: 5) more so than the
other. The limestone example was merely smoothed, while the two of sandstone were polished.
The groundstone assemblage of Hamadiyah is a significant contribution to our understanding of
the groundstone industry of this culture. Other groundstone assemblages were found west and east of
the Jordan River at sites such as Sha>ar Hagolan (Garfinkel 1993, 2002; Rosenberg 2011; Rosenberg
and Garfinkel 2014); Munhata (Gopher and Orrelle 1995); Naḥal Zehora II (Gopher 2012) >Ain Ghazal
(Kafafi and Rollefson 1995; Rollefson and Kafafi 1994). Other assemblages were found at sites such as

Fig. 11.1.25: Groundstone assemblage: various items.

Fig. 11.1.26: Groundstone assemblage: pendants and bracelets.

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

Jabel abu Thawwab (Qadi 2001), >Ain Rahub (Muheisen et al. 1988) and even from Nahal Qanah Cave
(Gopher 1996: 73–74). Stone assemblages were also found at other Early Pottery Neolithic sites such as
Beisamoun (Rosenberg 2010b) and Tel Roim-West (Rosenberg 2011) in the western Hula Valley.
The stone assemblage of Hamadiyah is composed mainly of basalt and limestone (local?). The
assemblage contains only a small component of grinding stones and a fair quantity of vessels, some
finely fashioned. Most of the elements for abrading were presumably used for shaping or modifying
other tools rather for food processing. In this regard, the appearance of pestles in the assemblage is
noted as this tool type frequently forms only a small component of the stone tool assemblages from the
Middle-Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic B and through the Chalcolithic period (Rosenberg 2004).
The stone celts probably represent less functional aspect of Hamadiya. The perforated items described
above reflect different functions, probably including wool working (attested from the presences of spindle-
whorls). The maceheads were probably intended for more symbolic than functional activity, as reflected in the
recovered examples. Their relatively diminutive sizes and specifically the diameters of their piercing seem to
strengthen the notion that they were never used for hunting or combat. Notably their appearance at this site
seems to be one of the earliest manifestations of these tools in the southern Levant (Rosenberg 2010a).
The collection of flaked discs seems to represent another poorly understood aspect of the stone
assemblage. Similar objects recently described and discussed in detail by Rosenberg et al. (2008), made their
appearance during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period, continued to be made for some considerable time,
only to finally disappear probably by the end of the Late Chalcolithic period. Flaked stone discs are known to
date from sites mainly in northern Israel, from the Hula Valley through the Menashe Hills. They have been
reporterd on at sites in Lower and Upper Galilee and in the Jordan Valley. How and what they were used for
remains obscure, but suggestions as to their function probably lie in the realm or practical use.
The stone assemblage of Hamadiya though limited, offers an opportunity to observe and discuss a
Yarmukian assemblage and its inherent functional and non-functional traits (Rosenberg 2011). It is an
assemblage dominated by limestone bowls and flaked, basalt disks. Most items were of raw materials
accessible in the vicinity of the site. The assemblage encompasses both utilitarian and non-utilitarian
components, which seem to reflect the preference and selection of stones intended to perform a wide
range of activities during the time span of the settlement, an early phase of the Pottery Neolithic.

Three figurines were found at Hamadiya. Two are typical Yarmukian culture pebble figurines, while a third is a
partly worked pebble that gives its natural form a figurative appearance. As typical pebble figurines, including
these two items, have recently been discussed at length (Garfinkel, Ben-Shlomo and Korn 2010), they are
treated here only briefly. One pebble figurine was published long ago, but presented upside down (Kaplan
1993), while the other remained unpublished utill recently (Garfinkel, Ben-Shlomo and Korn 2010: 330–331).
The two items are now curated by the Israel Antiquities Authority National Treasures Storerooms.

FIGURINE H1 (IAA NO. 1988-64)

Only the upper fragment of a typical Yarmukian pebble (Garfinkel, Ben-Shlomo and Korn 2010: 330–
331) figurine, fashioned on an elongated, symmetrical, smooth limestone with elliptical cross-section is
preserved (Figs. 11.1.27: 1; 11.1.28). Two opposing, finely incised, slightly oblique lines near the rounded

6 Section prepared by Yosef Garfinkel.

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

end of one face of the pebble schematically depict eyes, making it a typical “eye figurine.” The object is
58 mm long, 37 mm wide and 18 mm thick and weighs 62 g.

FIGURINE H2 (IAA NO. 1988-67)

This completely preserved object was fashioned from a non-symmetrical hard limestone, smooth river
pebble (Kaplan 1993: 560; Garfinkel, Ben-Shlomo and Korn 2010: 330–331). Deep incisions on its lower
part represent thighs in a manner typical of Yarmukian figurines (see, for example: Garfinkel, Ben-
Shlomo and Korn 2010, Items C1, C12 and C14). However, the upper portion of this depiction has no
incisions representing eyes (Figs. 11.1.27: 2; 11.1.29). The item is 53 mm long, 26 mm wide and 18 mm
thick, and weighs 38 g.


Anthropomorphic pebble figurines are engraved limestone river pebbles that schematically depict
humans. They are an acknowledged aspect of Yarmukian symbolic expression. About 150 such
human representations have been reported so far from the following sites (Garfinkel, Ben-Shlomo
and Korn 2010): Sha>ar Hagolan (N = 119), Byblos (N = 16), Munhata (N = 13), Hamadiya (N = 2) and
>Ain Ghazal (N = 1). Several additional pebble figurines have been reported from later periods (Early
and Middle Chalcolithic), but they are beyond the scope of the present discussion. As may be seen,
most of the Yarmukian examples were found in the central Jordan valley, at Sha>ar Hagolan, Munhata
and Hamadiya. While at Hamadiya only pebble figurines were found, numerous clay figurines have

Fig. 11.1.27: Hamadiya: technical drawings of the two limestone pebble figurines.

Fig. 11.1.28: Hamadiya limestone pebble figurine.

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)

been found in conjunction with pebble figurines at various other Yarmukian sites. Thus, its seems
likely that the lack of such clay objects at Hamadiya may merely be a function of the limited scope
of the excavations.

FIGURINE H3 (IAA NO. 1988-65)

This naturally, almost pyramid-shaped stone with truncated top was probably collected and kept by the
ancient inhabitants because of its unusual form (Figs. 11.1.30; 11.1.31). A rounded, horizontal groove

Fig. 11.1.29: Four views of Hamadiya limestone pebble figurine.

Fig. 11.1.30: Three views of the carved limestone figurine.

Yosef Garfinkel , Talia G oldman, Danny Rosenberg, A nna Eirikh-Rose and Z inovi M atskevich

Fig. 11.1.31: Seven views of the carved limestone figurine.

divides the upper, truncated portion of the pyramid from the lower, possibly to indicate a head. Kaplan
suggested it was a depiction of a woman giving birth.

The exposed portions of Hamadiya, albeit limited to a small occupied area, displays evidence of
a typical Pottery Neolithic material culture. The site was excavated on a rather small scale, with
the total area unearthed of ca. 100 sq m. That is barely comparable to what is known from nearby
Yarmukian sites such as a ca 2000 sq m exposure at Munhata and a ca. 3000 sq m exposure at
Sha>ar Hagolan. Nevertheless, the excavation of Hamadiya yielded almost all typical Yarmukian
components: flint, pottery, pebble figurines and lithics, including chipped and groundstone and art
objects. Decorated pottery and the pebble figurines indicate the site belongs to the Yarmukian culture
that occupied northern Israel and Jordan up to the area of Byblos in Lebanon. Unfortunately there
are no 14C data from Hamadiya, but according to radiometric dating from Yarmukian sites, the time
span of the Yarmukian occupation of Hamadiya should be placed somewhere within the second half
of the 7th millennium BCE, ca. between 6400–6000 BCE. The excavation of Hamadiya adds another
aspect to what is known of Yarmukian settlement patterns, that of a small site, possibly one of several
established in the landscape between larger occupations such as Sha>ar Hagolan. The evidence from
Hamadiya could even be interpreted as that of a seasonal site for a population that arrived from Sha>ar
Hagolan while grazing flocks of sheep and goats.

We are grateful to Hava Katz, Iris Yossefun and Natalia Gubenko of the Israel Antiquities Authority
for their help in studying the finds from Hamadiya. We also wish to thank Olga Dubovski who drew the
finds and Tal Rogovskey who photographed the pottery and Figurine H3. We are additionally thankful
to Christophe Delage who helped to identify the various types of flint in the assemblage.

Chapter 11.1: H amadiya in the Central Jordan Valley: A Yarmukian Pottery N eolithic Site (1964)


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Executive Editor Israel Finkelstein

Editorial Board Avi Gopher
Raphael Greenberg
Oded Lipschits
Guy D. Stiebel
Managing Editor Myrna Pollak
Graphic Designer Noa Evron


With contributions by
Hay Ashkenazi, Eliot Braun, Anna Eirikh-Rose, Rinat Favis, Yosef Garfinkel, David Gersht,
Talia Goldman, Jacob Kaplan, Liora Kolska Horwitz, Ofer Marder, Zinovi Matskevich,
Danny Rosenberg, Moshe Sade, Haward Smithline, Katharina Streit, Eli Yannai and Dmitry Yegorov

Co-published by

Winona Lake, Indiana


Tel Aviv University

Monograph Series under the auspices of the
Friends of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University

Cover Art: Front cover: A Yarmukian clay figure from Ha-Bashan Street; back cover center: holemouth jar with
figure in relief from >Ein el-Jarba; back cover left, top to bottom: clay objects – weights? from Ha-Bashan Street;
a clay figure from Kefar Gil>adi (note red paint)

Published by the Emery and Claire Yass Publications in Archaeology

(Bequeathed by the Yass Estate, Sydney, Australia)
of The Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University

ISBN 978-965-266-062-6
© Copyright 2017 by the Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University
All rights reserved
Research on Jacob Kaplan’s Excavations of Protohistoric Sites, 1950s–1980s was supported
by the Shelby White and Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications.

Volume I
Preface Avi Gopher ix


Avi Gopher and Ruth Eyal
Ram Gophna


Avi Gopher and Ruth Eyal
Avi Gopher and Ruth Eyal
TEL AVIV (1979)
Moshe Sade
Chapter 5 KAPLAN’S EXCAVATIONS AT LOD (1951–1952) 181
Avi Gopher and Ruth Eyal
Eli Yannai
Avi Gopher and David Gersht
Avi Gopher and Ruth Eyal
Avi Gopher and Ruth Eyal
Moshe Sade

Volume II
(1957 AND 1962)
Avi Gopher and Ruth Eyal
Ruth Eyal and Avi Gopher
Moshe Sade
Ofer Marder, Dmitry Yegorov and Howard Smithline
Yosef Garfinkel, Talia Goldman, Danny Rosenberg, Anna Eirikh-Rose
and Zinovi Matskevich
Liora Kolska Horwitz
Katharina Streit, Rinat Favis and Yosef Garfinkel


Ram Gophna, Yitzhak Paz and Jacob Kaplan (with a contribution by
Eliot Braun)
Avi Gopher
Moshe Sade
TEL AVIV (1950–1951)
Jacob Kaplan, Ram Gophna and Yitzhak Paz
Avi Gopher
TEL AVIV (1950–1951)
Ram Gophna and Yitzhak Paz
Chapter 16 EXCAVATIONS AT RISHPON 4, TEL AVIV (1978–1990) 627
Ram Gophna and Yitzhak Paz
Avi Gopher
Ram Gophna and Yitzhak Paz
Danny Rosenberg
Ram Gophna and Yitzhak Paz
Yitzhak Paz and Ram Gophna


Avi Gopher and Ruth Eyal
EPILOGUE Avi Gopher 702