The Natufian site of Eynan (Hula Valley, northern Israel): Magnetic prospecting reveals new features

Sonia Itkis*, Boris Khesin, Lev Eppelbaum, Hamudi Khalaily

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The results of an archaeological study of the Eynan (Ein Mallaha) site indicate a transition of population from nomadic hunting and gathering to settled societies during the late glacial period in the southern Levant. A continuous process of evolution began between 12,500 and 10,200 BP (the Natufian period) and ended with the appearance of Neolithic agricultural societies. Magnetic prospecting was carried out southeast of the excavated part of the site, on a rectangular area of 420 m2. Quantitative interpretation of magnetic data obtained in environments of strong magnetic disturbances and inclined magnetization included forward modeling and development of physical-archaeological models (PAM) based on archaeological information and the study of magnetic properties of targets and the host medium. Following the data interpretation, a number of circular magnetic anomalies were revealed and contoured. Based on the preliminary archaeological information, anomalies may indicate fireplaces, ash spots, or whole dwellings. Examination of two circular magnetic anomalies showed that they are certainly related to excavated circular houses. This conformity strongly suggests that other anomalies may be related to buried dwellings. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of high-resolution magnetic prospecting for the mapping of Natufian villages and similar sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-219
Number of pages11
JournalIsrael Journal of Earth Sciences
Volume52
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

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