A new look at Shelter 131/51 in the Natufian site of Eynan (Ain-Mallaha), Israel

Gil Haklay, Avi Gopher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the past 25 years since the reconstruction of Shelter 131 of Eynan was suggested by Francois Valla, its image has become almost iconic-a highly cited symbol of early sedentism constituting a significant part of our knowledge on early stone constructions and the people behind them. A new look at the architectural remains and the stratigraphy resulted in an alternative reconstruction, essentially different than the one we have come to know. We used spatial (architectural-geometrical) analysis in order to study the relationships between the different architectural elements and to test our hypothesis that the series of postholes may have not pertained to the upper floor 131 of Layer IV as suggested by Perrot and Valla, but rather to the successive occupational and architectural episode. The association of the postholes with Wall 51 of Layer III sheds new light on the architectural remains revealing their geometric design, an important characteristic of Early Natufian Architecture, the meaning and implications of which we shortly discuss.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0130121
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
StatePublished - 8 Jul 2015


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