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The Raqefet Cave 2008 Excavation Season

Abstract : The third season of the renewed project at Raqefet cave took place in the summer of 2008. In the first chamber additional Natufian human burials were exposed near the north wall of the cave. In the narrow crevice of Locus 1 and nearby, a total of 11 burials were so far excavated. This is indeed a very dense Natufian burial area. Furthermore, the Natufian layer to the east of Locus 1 is also rich with burials. Here (Locus 3) three burials have already been excavated, but at least four additional graves are known and will be excavated in the future. In Locus 5, a narrow elevated area in the southern part of chamber 1, the tufa covering the cave floor yielded a rich and well-preserved concentration of finds. The flint assemblage appears to be Kebaran, while the faunal remains from there also differ from the Natufian faunal remains at the site. This indicates that the cementation of sediments in the cave occurred during both the Early Epipalaeolithic (Kebaran) and Late Epipalaeolithic (Natufian). Additional bedrock features (including mortars, cupmarks and tiny depressions) were found during this season, bringing the total number in the first chamber and terrace to over 90. The variety of types and dimensions indicate that they were used in various ways, most likely in more than just the processing of foods or minerals. The 3D documentation of these features (by photogrammetry) already enables new directions of analyses of these somewhat enigmatic features.
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Dani Nadel, György Lengyel, Teresa Cabellos Panades, Fanny Bocquentin, Danny Rosenberg, et al.. The Raqefet Cave 2008 Excavation Season. Journal of the Israel prehistoric society, Israel Prehistoric Society, 2009, 39, pp.21-61. ⟨hal-02014163⟩



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