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Gesher (archaeological site)

Gesher is an archaeological site located on the southern bank of Nahal Tavor, near kibbutz Gesher in the central Jordan Valley of Israel. It bears signs of occupation from two periods, the very early Neolithic and the Middle Bronze Age. The site was first excavated between 1986 and 1987 by Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and between 2002 and 2004 by Susan Cohen of Montana State University. The average of 4 Radiocarbon dating results suggested inhabitation of the settlement around 8000 BC.[1]

Gesher
גשר
Gesher (archaeological site) is located in Near East
Gesher (archaeological site)
Shown within Near East
Gesher (archaeological site) is located in Israel
Gesher (archaeological site)
Gesher (archaeological site) (Israel)
Location12 kilometres (7.5 mi) South of the Sea of Galilee
RegionJordan Valley
Coordinates32°36′10″N 35°33′20″E / 32.602778°N 35.555556°E / 32.602778; 35.555556
TypeTell
Part ofVillage
Area18 square metres (190 sq ft) (excavated by Garfinkel)
History
MaterialLake bed
Foundedc. 8000 BC
Abandonedc. 8000 BC
PeriodsPPNA, Neolithic
CulturesKhiamian
Site notes
Excavation dates1986-1987
2002-2004
ArchaeologistsYosef Garfinkel
Susan Cohen
ConditionRuins
Public accessYes

During the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A the site was a small village composed of a few rounded structures. Typical flint finds included a high number of el-Khiam points which Garfinkel argued, along with the relatively early date could class Gesher as a Khiamian site.[1] One outstanding discovery, unknown from any other Neolithic site of the period in the Near East, is a workshop for the production of basalt artifacts. The workshop produced basalt axes and various other tools which were then sent to other early Neolithic centers, such as Jericho and Netiv Hagdud. According to radiometric dates, Gesher is one of the earliest Neolithic sites in the Near East. During this period the first villages were established and the transition to agriculture occurred. A final excavation report on the Neolithic site was published in 2006.

During the Middle Bronze Age IIA, Gesher served as a cemetery. Some 20 graves have been uncovered. These are shaft graves, dug into the local sediment, used for individual burials and never reopened. This facilitates the study of burial customs, including body position, the quantity of grave goods and their relation to the deceased. Bronze spearheads and axes (including three duck-bill axes) were found in four of the graves. A final excavation report on the Middle Bronze cemetery was published in 2007.

Comparative chronologyEdit

BC
11000
Europe Egypt Syria
Levant
Anatolia Khabur Sinjar Mountains
Assyria
Middle Tigris Low
Mesopotamia
Iran
(Khuzistan)
Iran Indus/
India
China
10000 Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
Gesher[4]
Mureybet
(10,500 BC)
 
Early Pottery
(18,000 BC)[5]
9000 Jericho
Tell Abu Hureyra
(Agriculture)[6]
8000 Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
Jericho
Tell Aswad
Göbekli Tepe
Çayönü
Aşıklı Höyük
Initial Neolithic
(Pottery)
Nanzhuangtou
(8500–8000 BC)
7000 Egyptian Neolithic
Nabta Playa
(7500 BC)
Çatalhöyük
(7500-5500)
Hacilar
(7000 BC)
Tell Sabi Abyad
Bouqras
Jarmo Ganj Dareh
Chia Jani
Ali Kosh
Mehrgarh I[4]
6500 Neolithic Europe
Franchthi
Sesklo
(Agriculture)[7]
Pre-Pottery Neolithic C
('Ain Ghazal)
Pottery Neolithic
Tell Sabi Abyad
Bouqras
Pottery Neolithic
Jarmo
Chogha Bonut Teppe Zagheh Pottery Neolithic
Peiligang
(7000-5000 BC)
6000 Pottery Neolithic
Sesklo
Dimini
Pottery Neolithic
Yarmukian
(Sha'ar HaGolan)
Pottery Neolithic
Ubaid 0
(Tell el-'Oueili)
Pottery Neolithic
Chogha Mish
Pottery Neolithic
Sang-i Chakmak
Pottery Neolithic
Lahuradewa


Mehrgarh II






Mehrgarh III
5600 Faiyum A
Amuq A

Halaf






Halaf-Ubaid
Umm Dabaghiya
Samarra
(6000-4800 BC)
Tepe Muhammad Djafar Tepe Sialk
5200 Linear Pottery culture
(5500-4500 BC)

Amuq B
Hacilar

Mersin
24-22
 

Hassuna

Ubaid 1
(Eridu 19-15)

Ubaid 2
(Hadji Muhammed)
(Eridu 14-12)

Susiana A
Yarim Tepe
Hajji Firuz Tepe
4800 Pottery Neolithic
Merimde
(Agriculture)[8]

Amuq C
Hacilar
Mersin
22-20
Hassuna Late

Gawra 20

Tepe Sabz
Kul Tepe Jolfa
4500
Amuq D
Gian Hasan
Mersin
19-17
Ubaid 3 Ubaid 3
(Gawra)
19-18
Ubaid 3 Khazineh
Susiana B

3800
Badarian
Naqada
Ubaid 4

BibliographyEdit

  • Cohen, Susan L. (2004-05-12). "Gesher 2003" (116). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  • Cohen, Susan L. (2005-03-24). "Gesher 2004" (117). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  • Y. Garfinkel and D. Dag. 2006. Gesher: A Pre-Pottery Neolithic A Site in the Central Jordan Valley, Israel. A Final Report. Berlin: Ex Oriente.
  • Y. Garfinkel and S. Cohen. 2007. The Early Middle Bronze Cemetery of Gesher. Final Excavation Report. AASOR 62. Boston: American Schools of Oriental Research.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Nadel D., Garfinkel Y., The Sultanian Flint Assemblage from Gesher and its Implications for Recognizing Early Neolithic Entities in the Levant, Volume 15, Number 15-2, pp. 139-151". Paléorient. 1989. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
  2. ^ Shukurov, Anvar; Sarson, Graeme R.; Gangal, Kavita (7 May 2014). "The Near-Eastern Roots of the Neolithic in South Asia". PLOS ONE. 9 (5): Appendix S1. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095714. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4012948. PMID 24806472.
  3. ^ Liverani, Mario (2013). The Ancient Near East: History, Society and Economy. Routledge. p. 13, Table 1.1 "Chronology of the Ancient Near East". ISBN 9781134750917.
  4. ^ a b Shukurov, Anvar; Sarson, Graeme R.; Gangal, Kavita (7 May 2014). "The Near-Eastern Roots of the Neolithic in South Asia". PLOS ONE. 9 (5): 1-20 and Appendix S1. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095714. ISSN 1932-6203.
  5. ^ Bar-Yosef, Ofer; Arpin, Trina; Pan, Yan; Cohen, David; Goldberg, Paul; Zhang, Chi; Wu, Xiaohong (29 June 2012). "Early Pottery at 20,000 Years Ago in Xianrendong Cave, China". Science. 336 (6089): 1696–1700. doi:10.1126/science.1218643. ISSN 0036-8075.
  6. ^ Thorpe, I. J. (2003). The Origins of Agriculture in Europe. Routledge. p. 14. ISBN 9781134620104.
  7. ^ Price, T. Douglas (2000). Europe's First Farmers. Cambridge University Press. p. 3. ISBN 9780521665728.
  8. ^ Jr, William H. Stiebing; Helft, Susan N. (2017). Ancient Near Eastern History and Culture. Routledge. p. 25. ISBN 9781134880836.