Contributions by A. Vered and D. Bar-Yosef Mayer
Sha‛ar Hagolan is a major Pottery Neolithic site (dated to ca. 8400–8000 cal BP) that spreads over ca. 20 hectares near the Yarmuk River, Israel. Eleven excavation seasons (in 1989–1990 and 1996–2004) had been conducted at the site by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The excavations exposed ca. 3,000 sq.m. of the Yarmukian village. The site is well known for the planning of the settlement, specifically its courtyard buildings, each occupying several hundred meters and separated by systems of streets or alleys and passageways, and a well. The excavations yielded a wealth of archaeological material including pottery, flint, ground stone, very rich art objects and figurative items, as well as faunal and floral remains. These data supply a wealth of information on the Yarmukian economy and social life.
The 1331 ground-stone implements, which are the focus of this volume in the Sha‛ar Hagolan publication series, were retrieved from the large courtyard buildings. The main contributions of this report are threefold. Firstly, it gives a full and comprehensive descriptive account of the entire ground-stone assemblage of Sha‛ar Hagolan and thus enables comparison to other ground-stone assemblages and databases. Secondly, the structure of this book, divided into chapters each dealing with a specific tool type or group of types, allows us to focus on the specific characteristics and distinctive traits of the tools, including their typology, morphology, technology of production and other aspects. Finally, we offer a comprehensive discussion of the assemblage and the Yarmukian ground-stone industry.