Israel • June 24 - August 3, 2012
I Volunteered for This?!
Prehistoric Mortuary Site
In the archaeology of the Holy Land, the cultures of the Neolithic period (8,500-4,300 B.C.) are often relegated to the nebulous realm of “prehistory,” a blanket term for those long eras of human history that lack written texts. This often leads to the misconception that such cultures are unknowable and incomprehensible to the modern mind and thus, less interesting.
How does a dig team work? What do archaeologists look for at a dig? In this documentary DVD, learn how excavators work and what we can learn from archaeology. More information.
But Neolithic sites like Kfar HaHoresh in the area of Nazareth in northern Israel are helping to debunk that myth. The site, which dates to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB), was originally thought to be a typical PPNB settlement, another example of an early Levantine agricultural village. Excavation, however, revealed that the site was actually a unique cultic center and burial ground for Neolithic villagers living in the area.
Since 1991, archaeologists working at the secluded site of Khfar HaHoresh have excavated more than 65 human burials, many deposited in unique cultic positions and contexts. In addition to several skulls decorated and covered with painted plaster, the cemetery held the body of a headless man that had been buried atop a massive pile of wild ox bones, as well as 50 human bones arranged in the shape of a wild animal. Dig director Nigel Goring-Morris suspects there are hundreds of fascinating burials still waiting to be discovered this season.
Participants will stay two to three in a room at the comfortable Kibbutz Kfar HaHoresh guesthouse.
Dr. Nigel Goring-Morris is a professor of prehistoric archaeology at Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology. He has been the director of the Kfar HaHoresh excavations since 1991.
Nazareth Hills, Israel
Periods of Occupation
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
Dates of the Dig
June 24 - August 3, 2012
April 1, 2012
$500.00 per week, airfare not included
Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution
Up to 6 credits - please check with director for further information
Kibbutz Mizra Guesthouse
Ms. Michal Birkenfield
Open for tours
Yes - appointment necessary
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