A human face carved on a pebble from the Late Natufian site of Nahal Ein Gev II

Leore Grosman, Dana Shaham, Francesco Valletta, Itay Abadi, Hadas Goldgeier, Noa Klein, Laure Dubreuil & Natalie D. Munro

Abstract

Abstract image

There is a paucity of Palaeolithic art in the southern Levant prior to 15 000 years ago. The Natufian culture (15 000–11 500 BP; Grosman 2013) marks a threshold in the magnitude and diversity of artistic manifestations (Bar-Yosef 1997). Nevertheless, depictions of the human form remain rare—only a few representations of the human face have been reported to date. This article presents a 12 000-year-old example unearthed at the Late Natufian site of Nahal Ein Gev II (NEGII), just east of the Sea of Galilee, Israel. The object provides a glimpse into Natufian conventions of human representation, and opens a rare opportunity for deeper understanding of the Natufian symbolic system.


Authors

  • Leore Grosman
    Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel; The Jack, Joseph and Morton Scholion-Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  • Dana Shaham
    Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
  • Francesco Valletta
    Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
  • Itay Abadi
    Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
  • Hadas Goldgeier
    Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
  • Noa Klein
    Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
  • Laure Dubreuil
    Anthropology Department, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON, K9L 0G2, Canada
  • Natalie D. Munro
    Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut, Unit 1176, 354 Mansfield Road, Storrs, CT 06269-1176, USA
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