Munhata is an archaeological
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 site 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) south of Lake Tiberius, Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 on the north bank and near the outlet of Nahal Tavor
Nahal Tavor
Nahal Tavor , lit. Tabor Stream, is an intermittent stream in the lower Galilee, Israel.-Geography:The stream starts in the hills of Nazareth, east of the city, and runs east and south of Mount Tabor, where it turns east and then empties into the Jordan River between Gesher and Belvoir...

 on a terrace 215 metres (705.4 ft) below sea level.


The area of 2000 square metre in the Jordan Valley was first excavated in 1962 by Jean Perrot
Jean Perrot
Jean Perrot is a French archaeologist who specialised in the late prehistory of the Middle East and Near East.-Biography:Perrot was a graduate of the Ecole du Louvre where he studied under two experts in Syrian archaeology; André Parrot and René Dussaud...

. The deposits on site were 3 metres (9.8 ft) deep and divided up into six distinct layers of occupation. These have been divided into PPNB aceramic during levels six to three, with later neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 and chalcolithic, Yarmukian and Wadi Rabah culltures in levels two and one.


Buildings in the earlier stages had stone, paved or plastered floors made of mud bricks on stone foundations with remains of hearths and other stone structures. The north walls of buildings contained a plastered niche, a feature found in a similar room in Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

. The PPNB levels also revealed an unusual circular courtyard
A court or courtyard is an enclosed area, often a space enclosed by a building that is open to the sky. These areas in inns and public buildings were often the primary meeting places for some purposes, leading to the other meanings of court....

 structure with rooms radiating out from it and a large platform with channels cut in it associated with a pebble lined trough
Trough may refer to:* Trough , the lowest turning point of a business cycle* Trough or manger, a container for animal feed* Watering trough, a receptacle of drinking water for domestic and non-domestic livestock...

, presumably used for craft purposes. The Yarmoukian phase continued with round buildings which developed into rectangular ones in the Rabah phase. A major break in settlement was detected between levels three and two, where the early levels were covered over with sandy soil.


Various flint tools and arrowheads were recovered from the site. Arrowheads had distinctive tangs (some barbed) with wings and pointed shoulders, some were diamond or leaf shaped and a few were notched. Finely denticulated sickle
A sickle is a hand-held agricultural tool with a variously curved blade typically used for harvesting grain crops or cutting succulent forage chiefly for feeding livestock . Sickles have also been used as weapons, either in their original form or in various derivations.The diversity of sickles that...

 blades were found in large numbers with other tools including end scrapers, blades, burins and borers. One piece of obsidian
Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock.It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimum crystal growth...

 was found in level six that originated from the same place as a piece from El Khiam
El Khiam
El Khiam is an archaeological site near Wadi Khureitun in the Judean desert in Israel, on the shores of the Dead Sea.Archaeological finds at el-Khiam show nearly continuous habitation by groups of hunters since the Mesolithic and early Neolithic periods. The Khiamian El Khiam is an archaeological...

. Grinding tools were also found including pestle and mortars of basalt or limestone, polishers, rubbers and grooved stones. Stoneware
Stoneware is a vitreous or semi-vitreous ceramic ware with a fine texture. Stoneware is made from clay that is then fired in a kiln, whether by an artisan to make homeware, or in an industrial kiln for mass-produced or specialty products...

 vessels were found along with a few greenstone beads. The site was also notable for finds of clay figurines of males, females and animals.


Radio-carbon dating of the site had large stated errors due to problematic dating materials but gave dates between ca. 7210 and 5420 BC. These provide a vague suggestion of the age of the site. Typological comparisons have been made of various artifacts highlighting a certain regional variation with more elaborate design arrowheads and less pressure flaking. This equates generally with the PPNB stages of Jericho and Beidha suggesting that occupations overlapped with these sites and a date of occupation during the middle and late 7th millennium BC.

Further Reading

  • Perrot, Jean., La troisieme campagne de fouilles a Munhata (1964), Syria 43, 1966.

External Links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.