Wednesday, 08. May 2019, 17:30

The Wadi Rabah Culture of the 6th Millennium cal BC in the Southern Levant and Beyond

Results and Contributions of Five Seasons of Excavation at Ein el-Jarba (Israel)

Katharina Streit (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

In the late 1950s, Jacob Kaplan first recognized the Wadi Rabah culture as a distinct cultural entity of the southern Levant and suggested possible interconnections to the northern Levant. The period remained however poorly understood and has not been the focus of a major research excavation for decades. In order to amend this, renewed excavation work started at Ein el-Jarba, a key site cursorily examined by Jacob Kaplan over half a century ago. The site was subsequently excavated in five seasons of excavation (2012-2016), uncovering remains of the Wadi Rabah culture on an excavation area of over 500 m2 and a high-resolution survey of 14,400 m2. The domestic architecture, burials and cultic installations uncovered at Ein el-Jarba provide new insights into the social complexity of the southern Levant during this period. Imported raw materials and finished projects shed new light on the long-distance trade and transregional interaction of the Near East in this pivotal period preceding the rise of urbanism.