Cultures of the Eight and Seventh Millennia BP in Southern Levant: A Review for the 1990s

Avi Gopher*, Ram Gophna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The Pottery Neolithic of the southern Levant (the eighth and seventh millennia BP) was a crucial period in which the foundations were laid for the development of complex societies and urban civilization. This article summarizes the current state of research in this area during this period. Past and present research in Israel and Jordan is reviewed, and methodological problems in fieldwork and analysis are discussed. We attempt a systematic definition of the archaeological entities. For each such entity, we present the available data on chronostratigraphy, characteristics of the material culture (including lithics, ceramics and architecture), burial customs, figurines and images, economy, and site-distribution. While the Yarmukian and Jericho IX occupied territories of similar size and seem to represent entities on the scale of a "culture," the later Wadi Raba entity extended over a larger area and was of longer duration. A chronostratigraphic summary is presented, and the major entities are compared in terms of site-types, economy, burials, and geographical distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-353
Number of pages57
JournalJournal of World Prehistory
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1993


  • Jericho IX
  • Pottery Neolithic
  • Wadi Raba
  • Yarmukian
  • southern Levant


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