Iron Age Agriculture in the Negev Highlands? Methodological and Factual Comments on Bruins and van der Plicht 2017a (Radiocarbon Vol. 59, Nr. 1)

Ruth Shahack-Gross*, Israel Finkelstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

This is a reply to a rejoinder to our work in the Negev Highlands (Shahack-Gross and Finkelstein 2015) recently published by Bruins and van der Plicht in this journal (2017a). It addresses archaeological method and practice related to the way evidence for the timing of dry farming in the arid Negev Highlands, Israel, has been obtained. We highlight issues related to phytolith assemblages and livestock dung found in Negev Highlands sites as an indicator for presence/absence of cereal crops, and briefly discuss methods with which terraced agricultural plots in the region have been dated. We touch upon issues at the core of the scientific method, especially the need for proper controls and the importance of reporting full sets of data. Based on the new data presented by Bruins and van der Plicht (2017a, 2017b) we propose an alternative interpretation for their dating of a single terrace at Horvat Haluqim.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1227-1231
Number of pages5
JournalRadiocarbon
Volume59
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Iron Age
  • Negev Highlands
  • OSL
  • radiocarbon
  • terrace agriculture

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