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Kfar HaHoresh Neolithic Excavations


The Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB, ca. 8,500-6,750 calBC) corresponds to the period when the first large village communities were established in the fertile portions of the Near East. At this time a wide-ranging cultural interaction sphere or Koine developed throughout the Levant and beyond, eventually stretching from central Anatolia to southern Sinai. This included the early sustained colonisation of Cyprus. Significant demographic increases in global and individual community sizes occurred, with the appearance of large village communities. Rectilinear residential architecture became commonplace, while public and ritual architecture are also found. Lifeways shifted during this period in the more fertile areas to increasing dependence on domesticated plants and animals, although hunting and gathering often continued to be important, resulting in a mosaic of subsistence modes. Cultic artefacts, installations and their contextual associations attest to intensive ritual practices. Prestige items were exchanged, sometimes over considerable distances.

Social tensions probably arose from these processes, exacerbated by discrepancies in the accumulation of material, social and ritual wealth within and between communities. These may be reflected by variable burial practices, which included primary interments within settlements, often (but not always) with later skull removal, as well as multiple and secondary burials. In a few instances skulls had the facial features modelled in plaster. Yet, few studies have focused on investigating the mechanisms for dissipating such scalar stresses by the emergence of social complexity and ranking. In light of the above re-evaluation of previous perceptions of PPNB mortuary and ritual practices during this period and the hypothetical emergence of social complexity, differentiation and possible stratification is timely and warranted.

Kfar HaHoresh is a Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) site located on the left (southern) bank in the uppermost reaches of Nahal Tzvi, a small wadi issuing into the Jezreel valley from the western flanks of the Nazareth Hills in lower Galilee (figure 1). A small spring is located ca. 150m northwest of the site. Little arable land is available in the immediate vicinity of the site. Although the specific setting of KHH is secluded, a panoramic view over lower Galilee and more distant areas is afforded from the opposite hill, Har Zameret; areas visible from there include: the Mediterranean coast, Mt. Carmel, Mt. Gilboa, Gilead in northern Transjordan, Mt. Hermon, and southern Lebanon. Indeed, this dichotomy may have been a factor in the otherwise seemingly anomalous placement of the site.

Kfar HaHoresh

The site of Kfar HaHoresh was discovered following 50 years of recent agricultural activities, followed by deep ploughing for aforestation. Excavations have been conducted since 1991 under the direction of A. N. Goring-Morris, initially on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and subsequently of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The excavated areas at Kfar HaHoresh (KHH), now totaling 500 sqm, include at least six distinct architectural levels that have been recognized through the 1.0-1.5 m thick occupation horizon. Radiocarbon dates and techno-typological characteristics of the lithic industry indicate that the site was occupied from the Early through the Middle and Late
PPNB, ca. 8,500-6,750 calBC, thus spanning over 1,500 years of use, probably in a sporadic, periodic manner. 

From the beginning of the excavations, it became clear that the main architectural features at KHH include several terrace walls, as well as a series of mostly quadrilateral lime plaster-surfaces. These surfaces, often bounded upslope on one or two sides by L-shaped stone wall foundations (Figure 2), vary in size from 3x1.5m (L1459) up to a massive precinct (the L1604 complex) measuring >20x10m, the latter of which is currently in the process of being exposed. Some of the plastered surfaces lack associated stone-built walls. Although no mud-brick walls were identified during excavation, micomorphological analyses have shown that mud-brick, or pisé, was used extensively at the site. These structures are accompanied by installations of various kinds, such as hearths, ovens, and fire-pits, as well as cultic features, such as stelae, platforms and the like. Several lime kilns have also been identified on-site. Midden deposits, comprising huge quantities of fire-cracked rocks, bone and flint artefacts are present in varying densities through the entire sequence and attest to extensive and intensive pyrotechnical activities.

Numerous human burials have been documented at Kfar HaHoresh. The graves are frequently associated with lime-plastered surfaces (under, dug into, or near), in shallow graves, that are sometimes marked by orthostats or post-holes. The burials (presently totalling some 70 individuals) vary from single completely articulated, through partial articulated, to single and multiple secondary burials comprising up to 15 individuals with intentional arrangements of human bones, as well as numerous isolated human remains. In one grave (L1804) the secondary burial of 'half' an adult male was found - half the mandible, one of each of the main longbones, framed by a few of ribs on either side, but no skull, hands or feet. Indeed, in one case the long bones of several individuals appear to have been intentionally arranged perhaps into the profile of an animal, prior to being plastered over (L1155). In another multiple grave (L1003) the bones had an oval arrangement. Individual skulls and skull caches (L1304, L1353), are found. Post-mortem skull is quite common at KHH, but it was by no means a ubiquitous practice. Although only one complete modelled skull was discovered at KHH, fragments of at least two other adult plastered skulls have been recovered. One of the latter (L1604) was painted with cinnabar.

Interestingly, the burials at Kfar HaHoresh display an unusual demographic profile compared to other PPNB populations in the southern Levant, with an unusually high representation of young adult males, although women and children are also present in some numbers. Grave goods are not numerous, but are quite common, and comprise chipped and groundstone tools, shells, minerals and animal bones. These accompanied adults of both sexes, as well as children, who also received at least some of the same treatments as the adults. There are several instances of half fox mandibles accompanying children.

Special mention should be made of the plastered skulls: the tradition of postmortem skull removal in the Levant first began during the Late Epipalaeolithic Natufian and lasted through to the Late (Pottery) Neolithic, but modelling, with plaster and/or other substances, is a special phenomenon unique to the PPNB. However, skull removal varied in intensity. Although opinions vary, most researchers agree that the practice represents an ancestral cult, perhaps aiming to strengthen the connections of social groups. These, together with the documented differences in specific mortuary practices at KHH naturally raise questions concerning their significance within the realm of the living community. Could skull removal, and the modelling of selected skulls reflect incipient differential status of the individuals prior to death within PPNB society? Would this be on the basis of ascribed (i.e. inherited) or attained criteria, or combinations thereof?

Based on its location, together with the wide range of unusual architectural and mortuary installations and practices on-site ,as well as the varied nature of the material culture remains and their contextual co-associations, Kfar Hahoresh has been interpreted as a mortuary and cult site, likely serving portions of communities in nearby settlements in the lowlands, such as Yiftah'el (where a number of burials have been found) and Ayanot Zippori. Were the criteria for burial at Kfar HaHoresh, as opposed to within settlement sites, exclusionary, being reserved for only certain segments of the population?

KHH Material Culture

The material culture remains at KHH are rich and varied. 'Exotic' materials, originating from remote areas in the Near East, indicate well-developed exchange systems. These materials include: obsidian from Central Anatolia; asphalt, malachite, amazonite, serpentine and other minerals originating in Transjordan, the Dead Sea area, northern Syria or Cyprus, and northern Iraq; and a rich variety of marine molluscs, from both the Mediterranean and the Red seas, as well as freshwater molluscs. Of note are large numbers of minute 'polished' pebbles.

Also recovered at the site are several figurines of both human and animal depictions, made on stone and clay. The use of clay at KHH, prior to the emergence of widespready pottery use in the succeeding Pottery Neolithic, ca. 6,400-4,500 calBC, is currently under analysis. It appears that clay was widely used at the site, especially for the manufacture of beads, tokens and figurines. Even the production of clay vessels has been documented at KHH. Thus far, it seems that almost all the clay products were manufactured on-site, and that various degrees of firing were used in the process.


Chipped stone tool assemblage

The lithic assemblage at the site comprises three distinct reduction sequences: an ad hoc component, used for the manufacture of common, non-standardized tool forms on flakes and blades, such as perforators and becs of various types, notches, scrapers and various retouched flakes; and a bidirectional naviform blade component, used mainly for the production of more standardized tool forms, such as sickle blades and reaping knives, projectile points, burins, chamfered pieces and some borers. A small assemblage of bifacial tools represents a third reduction sequence, and includes axes, knives and massive awls. Although most of the flint artefacts are made on local raw materials, some of the more standardized tool forms are made on non-local and/or heat-treated flint. There are preliminary indications for changes through the sequence in raw material choices in addition to typological and stylistic shifts.

 There is also a small assemblage of obsidian artefacts; provenancing indicates that they all derive from Cappadocian sources in central Anatolia.


Ground stone tools

The abundant ground stone tool assemblage includes mostly hand-stones and pounders. The assemblage also includes grinding slabs/querns, bowls, platters, a few mortars and pestles, polishing pebbles, shaft-straighteners, and perforated stones (including so-called 'game-boards') as well as flaked items and numerous unidentifiable fragments. Raw materials include basalt, limestone, sandstone and flint, many but not all locally available. Use-wear analysis of a sample of the tools on basalt indicate the processing of non-oily vegetal remains (legumes rather than cereals), skin processing, as well as lime-plaster production and application. 

Faunal remains

The faunal assemblage from the site comprises amongst the largest numbers of identified items from PPNB contexts in the southern Levant. The species represented amongst the sample (mostly from Middle and Late PPNB contexts) of 8,500 NISP counted to date are comparable with other contemporary sites in the region. The most important include: mountain gazelle (Gazella gazelle), wild goat (Capra aegagrus), wild cattle (Bos primigenius), and wild boar (Sus scrofa). None of these species display morphometric evidence for domestication. Still, goat occurs in higher percentages at KHH (as elsewhere in the Galilee during the PPNB) than in Late Pleistocene assemblages in the area. Small quantities of fallow deer (Dama mesopotamica) and Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) were also recovered.

Ongoing studies are investigating the contextual co-associations of the faunal remains, since there is already evidence for faunal remains as gravegoods and for feasting, especially with regards aurochs, fox and gazelle.

Cutmarks are generally rare. Amongst the smaller species represented are red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and hare (Lepus capensis), as well as rodents, reptiles, birds (mostly raptors) and rare fish and crustacea. 

GIS Studies

The various databases of the material culture remains at Kfar HaHoresh are being integrated using GIS applications in order to examine the spatial contextual associations through the complex stratigraphic sequence. 


Investigations at Kfar HaHoresh have been enabled through the generous support of: ERC Young Researcher Grants; The Irene Levi-Sala CARE Foundation; The Israel Science Foundation; The MAFCAF Foundation; and The National Geographic Society.

Kfar HaHoresh staff and specialists

The KHH project has included specialists in various fields, as well as graduate and postgraduate students (* denotes those currently actively involved in the project).

  • Prof. A. Nigel Goring-Morris

Project Director, Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Dr. Trina Arpin, Micromorphologist, Boston University, USA.

*Ms. Hila Ashkenazy, Field lab manager & Lithic analyst. PhD student, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

*Dr. Daniela Bar-Yosef, Malacologist & Bead analyst, Haifa University & Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Omry Barzilai, Field director & Lithic analyst, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Dr. Mark Becker, Lithic micro-wear analyst, USA.

*Ms. Michal Birkenfeld, Field director, Architect, Lithic analyst & GIS studies. PhD student, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

*Ms. Rebecca Biton, MA student. Clay artefact analyst, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Mr. Douglas Blash, MA student, Geophysical prospection, Boston University, USA.

Dr. Elisabetta Boaretto, C14 dating, Bar-Ilan University & Weizmann Institute.

*Mr. Doron Boness, MA student, Tel Aviv University.

*Ms. Lena Brailovsky, Lab assistant. MA student, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Ms. Angela Davidzon, Field lab director & Lithic analyst. MA student, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

*Dr. Laure Dubreuil, Groundstone tool analyst, Trent University, Canada.

*Dr. Vered Eshed, Physical Anthropologist, Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem.

*Prof. Yuval Goren, Geoarchaeologist & Petrographer, Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University.

Prof. Israel Hershkowitz, Physical Anthropologist, Sackler Medical School, Tel Aviv University.

*Dr. Liora K. Horwitz, Archaeozoologist, Department of Evolution & Systematics, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Dr. Sonya Itkis, Geophysical prospection, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Dr. Steve Kangas, Area supervisor & Field school director, Dartmouth College, USA.

*Dr. Cheryl Makarewicz, Faunal Isotope analyst, University of Kiel, Germany.

*Prof. Natalie Munro, Archaeozoologist, University of Connecticut, USA.

*Ms. Maya Oron, Field manager & Lithic analyst. MA student, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

*Ms. Dana Shaham, Logistics & Lithic analyst. MA student, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Prof. Tal Simmons, Physical Anthropologist & Taphonomist, University of Central Lancaster, UK.

Dr. Alexander Tsatskin, Geomorphologist, Haifa University.

*Prof. Noreen Turross, C14 dating and Human Isotopes, Harvard University, USA.

Dr. John K. Williams, Area Supervisor, Architect & Field school director, Independent reseacher, USA.

Dr. Shoh Yamada, Lithic micro-wear analyst, Harvard University, USA & Japan.

Publications and further reading

Kfar HaHoresh - a Cult and Mortuary Site. In: Past Horizons Magazine, Nov.2008, Pp.20-25

Goring-Morris et al. 2008. The 2007–8 excavation seasons at Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Kfar HaHoresh, Israel. Antiquity 82:318

Barzilai, O., and A.N. Goring-Morris. 2007. "Blade caches in the southern Levant," in Technical Systems and Near Eastern PPN Communities. Edited by L. Astruc, D. Binder, and F. Briois, pp. 277-294. Antibes: Éditions APDCA.

Barzilai, O. 2010. Social Complexity in the Southern Levantine PPNB as reflected through Lithic Studies: the Bidirectional Blade Industries. Oxfors: BAR International Series 2180.

Barzilai, O. and Goring-Morris, A.N. 2010. "Bidirectional blade production at the PPNB site of Kfar HaHoresh: the Techno-typological analysis of a workshop dump", Paleorient 36/2:5-34.

Barzilai, O. and Goring-Morris, A.N. (under review), An Estimator of targeted blank productivity for bi-directional (Naviform) cores in the Levantine PPNB. Submitted to Journal of Archaeological Science.

Birkenfeld, M., and A.N. Goring-Morris. 2011. "A methodological approach, using GIS applications, to stratigraphy and spatial analysis at PPNB Kfar HaHoresh," in The 6th Neo-Lithics Workshop on Studies in Technology, Environment, Production, and Society (STEPS) of Neolithic Chipped and Ground Stones, SENEPSE. Edited by E. Healey, S. Campbell, and O. Maeda, pp. 277-290. Berlin: ex oriente.

Biton, R. and Goren, Y., and Goring-Morris, A.N. (in prep). Ceramics in the Levantine Pre-Pottery Neolithic B: Evidance from Kfar HaHoresh, Israel.

<span id="fck_dom_range_temp_1320228795506_828" />Davidzon, A., and A.N. Goring-Morris. 2007. "Knapping in the graveyard: a refitted naviform sequence from Kfar HaHoresh, Israel," in Technical Systems and Near Eastern PPN Communities. Edited by L. Astruc, D. Binder, and F. Briois, pp. 295-310. Antibes: Éditions APDCA.

Eshed, V., I. Hershkovitz, and A.N. Goring-Morris. 2008. A re-evaluation of burial customs in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B in light of paleodemographic analysis of the human remains from Kfar HaHoresh, Israel. Paléorient 34, Pp.91-103.

Goren, Y., and A.N. Goring-Morris. 2008. Early pyrotechnology in the Near East: Experimental lime plaster production at the PPNB site of Kfar HaHoresh, Israel. Geoarchaeology 23:779-798.

Goring-Morris, A.N. 1994. "Aspects of the PPNB lithic assemblage from Kfar HaHoresh, near Nazareth, Israel," in Neolithic Chipped Lithic Industries of the Fertile Crescent. SENEPSE 1. Edited by H.-G. Gebel and S. K. Kozlowski, pp. 427-444. Berlin: ex oriente.

Goring-Morris, A.N., Y. Goren, L.K. Horwitz, D. Bar-Yosef, and I. Hershkovitz. 1995. Investigations at an Early Neolithic settlement in lower Galilee: Results of the 1991 season at Kfar HaHoresh. 'Atiqot 27:37-62.

Goring-Morris, A.N. 2000. The Quick and the Dead: The social context of Aceramic Neolithic mortuary practices as seen from Kfar HaHoresh, In: Kuijt, I. (ed), Life in Neolithic Farming Communities: Social Organization, Identity, and Differentiation, Kluwer Academic\Plenum Press, New York, Pp. 103-136.

Goring-Morris, A.N. 2005. Life, death and the emergence of differential status in the Near Eastern Neolithic: Evidence from Kfar HaHoresh, Lower Galilee, Israel. In: J. G. D. Clark (ed), Archaeological perspective on the transmission and transformation of culture in the Eastern Mediterranean. Oxford, CBRL and Oxbow Books: 89-105.

Goring-Morris, A.N. 2008. "Kefar Ha-Horesh," in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, vol. 5. Supplementary Volume. Edited by E. Stern, pp. 1907-1909. Jerusalem & Washington, DC: Israel Exploration Society and Biblical Archaeology Society.

Goring-Morris, A.N., M. Birkenfeld, and J. K. Williams. 2008. Under control: The use of 'virtual' sections for stratigraphic management in multi-component archaeological sites. Neo-Lithics 2/08:17-23.

Goring-Morris, A.N., E. Boaretto, and S. Weiner. 2001. Radiometric dating of the PPNB mortuary site of Kfar HaHoresh, Lower Galilee, Israel: Problems and preliminary results, Journal of The Israel Prehistoric Society 31, pp. 213-217.

Goring-Morris, A.N., R. Burns, A. Davidzon, V. Eshed, Y. Goren , I. Hershkovitz, S. Kangas, and J. Kelecevic, 1998. The 1997 season of excavations at the mortuary site of Kfar HaHoresh, Galilee, Israel. Neo-Lithics 1998/3:

Goring-Morris, A.N., Y. Goren, L.K. Horwitz, D. Bar-Yosef and I. Hershkovitz 1995. Investigations at an Early Neolithic settlement in Lower Galilee: Results of the 1991 season at Kfar HaHoresh. 'Atiqot 27: 37-62.

Goring-Morris, A.N., Y. Goren, L.K. Horwitz, I. Hershkovitz, R. Lieberman, J. Sarel, and D. Bar-Yosef. 1994-5. The 1992 season of excavations at the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B settlement of Kfar HaHoresh. Journal of the Israel Prehistoric Society 26: 74-121.

Goring-Morris, N. and L.K.Horwitz. 2007. Funerals and feasts during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B of the Near East. Antiquity 81:902–919

Hershkovitz, I., I. Zohar, M.S. Speirs, I. Segal, O. Meirav, U. Sherter, H. Feldman and N. Goring-Morris 1995. Remedy for an 8500 year-old plastered human skull from Kfar HaHoresh, Israel. Journal of Archaeological Science 22: 779-788.

Hershkovitz, I., I. Zohar, S. Wish-Baratz, Y. Goren, A.N. Goring-Morris, M. Speirs, I. Segal, O. Meirav, U. Sherter, and H. Feldman. 1996. "High Resolution Computed Tomography and Micro-Focus Radiography on an eight thousand year old plastered skull: How and why it was modeled," in Nature et Culture, ERAUL 68. Edited by M. Otte, pp. 669-682. Liege:

Horwitz, L.K., and A.N. Goring-Morris. 2004. Animals and ritual during the Levantine PPNB: a case study from the site of Kfar Hahoresh, Israel. Anthropozoologica 39:165-178.

Nissenbaum, A., and J. Connan. 1999. "Application of organic geochemistry to the study of Dead sea asphalt in archaeological sites from Israel and Egypt," in The Practical Impact of Science on Near Eastern and Aegean Archaeology. Edited by S. Pike and S. Gittin, pp. 91-98. UK: Wiener Laboratory Publication No. 3. Archtype Press.

Simmons, T., L. Kolska Horowitz, and A.N. Goring-Morris. 2007. "“What Ceremony Else?” Taphonomy and the ritual treatment of the dead in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B mortuary complex at Kfar HaHoresh, Israel," in Faces from the Past: Diachronic Patterns in the Biology and Health Status of Human Populations from the Eastern Mediterranean. Papers in Honour of Patricia Smith, vol. 1603. Edited by M. Faerman, L.K. Horwitz, T. Kahana, and U. Zilberman, pp. 1-27. Oxford: Archaeopress, BAR International Series 1603.

Tsatskin, A., A.N. Goring-Morris, and S. Itkis. 1998. "Anthropogenic soils in Mediterranean maquis around the Early Neolithic site at Kfar HaHoresh (Israel)," in 6th International Meeting on Soils With Mediterranean Type of Climate (IMSMTC), Extended abstracts. Edited by J. Bech, pp. 596-598. Barcelona University, Spain.

MA & PhD Theses

Arpin, T.L. 2004. Micromorphological Analysis of Four Early Neolithic Sites. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Boston University.

Barkai, R. 2005. Flint and Stone Axes as Cultural Markers. Socio-Economic Changes as Reflected in Holocene Flint Tool Industries of the Southern Levant. Berlin: SENEPSE 11, ex oriente.

Barzilai, O. 2009. Social Complexity in the Southern Levantine PPNB as Reflected through Lithic Studies: The Bidirectional Blade Industries. Unpublished PhD Thesis, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Birkenfeld, M. 2008. Aspects of Time and Space at the Early Neolithic Site of Kfar HaHoresh - A GIS based Stratigraphical and Spatial Analysis. MA Thesis, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Birkenfeld, M. (in prep). Systems of Change: Neolithic Settlement Patterns in Lower Galilee, Israel. PhD Thesis, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Biton, R. (2010). The Clay Repetoire from Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Kfar HaHoresh: Not Just the Usual Bull. Jerusalem, Hebrew University. M.A. Thesis, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Brailovsky, L. (in prep), Sickle blades during the PPNB: Typological, Stylistic, Chronological and Technological Aspects. MA Thesis, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Delerue, S. 2007.L'Obsidienne dans le Processus de Neolithisation du Proche-Orient (12000-6500 av. J.-C. cal.). Unpublished PhD Thesis, Université Bordeaux 3.

Eshed, V. 2001. From Foraging to Farming in the Holocene (The Pre-Pottery Neolithic Period 8,300-6,000 B.C.) in the Southern Levant: The Skeletal Evidence. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Tel Aviv University.

Makarewicz, C.A. 2007. Evolution of Foddering Practices in the Southern Levantine Pre-Pottery Neolithic. Unpublished PhD, Harvard University.

Vergonzanne, L. 1999. Etude Anthropologique d'un Site Funeraire du Levant. Application au Site Funeraire de Kfar Hahoresh (Basse Galilee, Israel). Saison de Fouille 1999. Attestation d'Universite en Anthropologie Biologique, Universite de la Mediterranee.

Trahe, M.L. 2003. Can Status Be Revealed? Dichotomous Cultural and Physiological Markers of Social Differentiation in Two Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Sites in the Levant. Unpublished MA Thesis, Western Michigan University.

Yamada, S. 2000. Development of the Neolithic: Lithic Use-Wear Analysis of Major Tool Types in the Southern Levant. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Harvard University.

Other Publications Relating to Kfar HaHoresh

Eshed, V., A. Gopher, and I. Hershkovitz. 2006. Tooth wear and dental pathology at the advent of agriculture: new evidence from the Levant. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 130:145-159.

Bar-Yosef Mayer, D.E., and N. Porat. 2008. Green stone beads at the dawn of agriculture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) 105:8548-8551.

Bonogofsky, M. 2002. Reassessing "dental evulsion" in Neolithic plastered skulls from the Levant through the use of Computed Tomography, direct observation, and photographs. Journal of Archaeological Science 29:959-964.

Bonogofsky, M. 2003. Neolithic plastered skulls and railroading epistemologies. Bulletin of the American School of Oriental Research 331:1-10.

Bonogofsky, M. 2004. Including women and children: Neolithic modeled skulls from Jordan, Israel, Syria and Turkey. Near Eastern Archaeology 67:118-119.

Bonogofsky, M. Editor. 2006. Skull Collection, Modification and Decoration. Oxford: Bar International Series 1539.

Garfinkel, Y. 2006. The burials of Kfar HaHoresh – A regional or local phenomenon? Journal of the Israel Prehistoric Society - Mitekufat Haeven 36:109-116.

Goring-Morris, A.N., and A. Belfer-Cohen. in press. Different Ways of Being, Different Ways of Seeing... Changing Worldviews in the Near East, in Landscapes in Transition: Understanding Hunter-Gatherer and Farming Landscapes in the Early Holocene of Europe and the Levant. Edited by B. Finlayson and G. Warren, pp. 9-22. London: Levant Supplementary Series & CBRL.

Horwitz , L.K., and P. Ducos. 2005. Counting cattle: Trends in Neolithic Bos frequencies from the Southern Levant. Revue de Paléobiologie 10:209-224.

Kuijt, I. 2008. The Regeneration of Life. Neolithic Structures of Symbolic Remembering and Forgetting. Current Anthropology 49:171-197.

Koutsadelis, C. 2007. Mortuary Practices in the Process of Levantine Neolithisation. Oxford: BAR International Series 1685.

Mahoney, P. 2006. Dental microwear From Natufian hunter-gatherers and Early Neolithic farmers: Comparisons within and between samples. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 130:308-319.

Mahoney, P. 2007. Human dental microwear From Ohalo II (22,500–23,500 cal BP), Southern Levant. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 132:489-500.

Stordeur, D., and R. Khawam. 2007. Les crânes surmodelés de Tell Aswad (PPNB, Syrie). Premier regard sur l’ensemble, premières réflexions. Syria 84:5-32.

Tsatskin, A., and T.S. Gendler. 2002. "Further notes on terra rosa and related soils near Kfar HaHoresh archaeological site, Israel," in Options Mediterrannes, Serie A, 7th International Meeting on Soils with Mediterranean Type of Climate. Edited by P. Zdruli, P. Steduto, and S. Kapur, pp. 109-120. Bari: CIHEAM-IAMB.

Verhoeven, M. 2002. Ritual and ideology in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B of the Levant and Southeast Anatolia. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 12:233-258.

General Background Reading:
Banning, E.B. 1998. The Neolithic Period. Triumphs of Architecture, Agriculture, and Art. Near Eastern Archaeology 61(4).

Bar-Yosef, O. 1995. Earliest Food Producers - Pre-Pottery Neolithic (8000-5,500). In T.E. Levy (ed.), The Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land. Leicester University Press. Pp. 190-204.

Bar-Yosef, O., and R.H. Meadow 1995. The origins of agriculture in the Near East. In D. Price and G. Gebauer (eds.), Last Hunters, First Farmers: New Perspectives on the Transition to Agriculture. Schools of American Research Press: Santa Fe.

Belfer-Cohen, A. and Goring-Morris, A.N. 2011. Becoming Farmers: the Inside Story, Current Anthropology 52/S4: S209-S220.

Goring-Morris, A.N. and Belfer-Cohen, A. 2011, Neolithization Processes in the Levant: the Outer Envelope, Current Anthropology 52/S4: S195-S208.

Kuijt, I., and A.N. Goring-Morris. 2002. Foraging, farming and social complexity in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of the South-Central Levant: A review and synthesis. Journal of World Prehistory 16:361-440.

Rollefson, G.O., A. Simmons and Z. Kafafi 1992. Neolithic cultures at 'Ain Ghazal, Jordan. Journal of Field Archaeology 19: 443-470.

Simmons, A.H. 2007. The Neolithic Revolution in the Near East. Transforming the Human Landscape. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

KHH field school 2012

The 2012 field school will take place between June 24th and August 3rd.

Highlights of the Field School

The field school provides an ideal opportunity to learn basic excavation and recording procedures, as well as preliminary analytical techniques by participating in the archaeological excavation of a unique site.
*excavation of a unique 9000 year old Early Neolithic mortuary and cult centre in northern Israel.
*large interdisciplinary team of participating archaeologists, anthropologists and specialist scientists.
*small group size to encourage interaction between members of the crew, allowing for individual attention.
*earn recognised academic credits.
*learn about Israel, live on a kibbutz and meet students from other countries.
·         We welcome anyone with an interest in the ancient Near East and in archaeology; especially graduate students, but also those with basic fieldwork experience.

Archaeological Field Program

Participants will take part in the excavations and also play an active role in the preliminary analysis of recovered artifacts. Subjects include: excavation, recovery and recording procedures, as well as field consolidation techniques.
Faculty members will give lectures on the Prehistory and Archaeology of the Near East and various specialist topics.
Enrolment in the field school is limited to a maximum of 15 students for each session, to enable individual supervision. The field crew, totalling at most 25, with specialists, includes students from Israel, North America and Europe.

Academic Credit

Students participating in the program can receive academic credits through the Rothberg International School, Hebrew University.
These credit points can be transferred to the student’s home institution. This entails additional fee of $120 for 1 academic credit point, each equals 1 week of participation. There is an additional 80$ application fee. These sums are paid directly to the Rothberg International School in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (For details and costs contact Keri Rosenbluh at ).Students opting to receive academic credit should state their intent upon registration, and the directions for application to the credit program will be sent by mail, together with confirmation of their acceptance to the dig.


Participants will share room with two or three other volunteers in a Kibbutz guest house. Food is provided.


The cost of participation is 500$ per week. Fees will be payable once you report in the camp at Kfar HaHoresh. It can be paid in cash or personal checks. Costs paid in personal checks will be asked for an additional 10% to cover bank charges.
The minimum period of stay is 3 weeks. In addition participants should bring with them to Israel a modest amount to cover personal expenses and additional travel before and after the dig. All major credit cards are respected in Israel, and it is possible to draw cash in ATMs and cash travelers checks.
Participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements to and from the Israel.
Non-refundable registration fee: $150 payable by 1st May 2012.


Enthusiasm and willingness to work hard under the hot sun; good health; full medical insurance.
Application Deadline
1st May, 2012 

The Next Step

For an application form or answers to your questions concerning participation, contact either:
Ms. Michal Birkenfeld
Department of Prehistory, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University,
Jerusalem 91905, Israel.
Tel: 00972-2-5882424
Fax: 00972-2-5825548
Prof. Nigel Goring-Morris, Excavation director
Department of Prehistory, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University,
Jerusalem 91905, Israel.
Tel: 00972-2-5882424
Fax: 00972-2-5825548

Or download an application form here: Image:VOLUNTEER APPLICATION FORM.pdf

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