• 1) "Artistic Reconstruction of the northern part of ancient Jericho, based on 1907-1909 German excavations. Note the houses built against the inner wall of the brick wall, this wall that rises at once above a stone retaining wall. The Bible says that the house of the prostitute Rahab was above the city wall, information that matches this archaeological discovery" (translated from Spanish) Picture: Source: 2) "Jericho is the oldest known city in the world, stretching back some 11,000 years into the past. At 846 feet below sea level, it is also the lowest city. The ancient settlement is located in a fertile landscape on a major Mediterranean trade route and surrounds a permanent spring near the Dead Sea. By 8000 BC, the population reached 1,500, far above any other site of the time." Source and further information: Here you can find also a plan of proto-neolithic Jericho: 3) "Jericho, first farming town in the world." 4) Jericho: an early farming community: ------- Further information about Jericho: 1) "Known today as Tell Sultan - Jericho lies in an oasis in the Jordan Valley north of the Dead Sea on a main east-west route. Its long stratigraphy documents almost continuous occupation from before 9000 BC to circa 1580 BC. At the base of the tell (mound) was a Natufian Culture deposit associated with a rectangular platform surrounded by stone walls; interpreted by the excavator Kathleen Kenyon as a shrine. The Natufian deposit was four metres thick in places but has provided little evidence of other structural remains or of subsistence economy. It was succeeded by Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) levels with radiocarbon dates in the range 8350-7370 BC. At this stage the settlement covered a surprisingly large four hectares and was surrounded by a stone wall and a ditch reinforced by at least one massive stone tower. The houses of this period were round and built of mud-brick. Pre-History and Archaeology Glossary The population was already growing emmer wheat - barley - pulses while the meat portion of the diet was supplied in the main by gazelle supplemented by wild cattle - boar - goat. It is possible that some of these animals were being herded although the evidence is exiguous (scanty or inadequate). In the succeeding Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) levels (with radiocarbon dates 7220-5850 BC) rectangular houses with plastered floors and walls were built; an increased range of cultivated plants was exploited and it is possible that domesticated sheep were kept. Evidence of an ancestor cult is present in the form of skulls with facial features restored in plaster and - in some cases - eyes set with cowrie or other shells. A break in occupation followed the PPNB levels but there is evidence of some re-occupation in later Neolithic and Chalcolithic times. From the late 4th millennium BC there was a walled town on the site which was continuously occupied until circa 1580 BC when the settlement - with a sloping plastered ramp of Hyksos type - was destroyed by the Egyptians ... " Source and further information: 2) "The Pre-Pottery Neolithic A(PPNA) wall of Jericho dates to approximately 8000 BC and is thought to be the first city wall ever built. It surrounded and protected a Neolithic settlement, the largest at the time, which contained anywhere from 400 to 2000 people [2]. The wall was complemented by a stone tower built into it. The tower had stairways and is thought to have reached a height of ten meters. The wall is thought to have been built in order to prevent floods but the height of the wall (approximately 5 feet thick and 12 to 17 feet high) as well as that of the tower suggests a defensive purpose as well. Furthermore, the construction of such a project implies some sort of social organization, division of labour, and classes. The town of Jericho, which was about six acres (2.5 hectares) in size, preceded the wall by about 500 years and is thought to be the earliest settlement ever discovered. In fact, evidence suggests that construction started prior to the agricultural revolution. The town contained round mud-brick houses, yet no street planning. Despite the existence of the wall and tower, Jericho is still a proto-city, much like Çatalhöyük." Source and further information: ------- Further information about the Natufian culture: 1) "Natufian hunter-gatherer sites, such as Nahal Oren, of ca 10,000 BC are characterized generally by permanent villages with undifferentiated architecture, large populations (100-150 people), numbers of mortars and grinding stones (for processing wild grains and seeds), and flint sickle blades (used for cutting grasses [i.e., wild grains]). No domestic plants or animals have been identified at any of the "early" Natufian sites. Their absence and the presence of wild food goods associated with tools for their harvesting/processing suggests that abundant resources made sedentism necessary--made seasonal movement unnecessary or impractical. The presence of large (common or collective ?) storage pits would allow for a larger sedentary population than previously. Later Natufian sites (ca. 8000 BC) show some goat being domesticated. Although there are no burials at Nahal Oren there are at other early Natufian sites. A few men are buried with shell headdresses and carved bone pendants; neither infants nor females are associated with burial goods." Source and further information: Further information about Nahal Oren: 2) "The Natufians settled in the woodland belt where oak and pistachio were prevailing species. The underbrush of this open woodland was grass with high frequencies of grain. The high mountains of Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon, the steppe areas of the Negev desert in Israel and Sinai, and the Syro-Arabian desert in the east put up only small Natufian living areas due to both their lower carrying capacity and the company of other groups of foragers who denuded this large region. The houses of the Natufian are semi-subterranean, often with a dry-stone foundation. The superstructure was probably made of brushwood. No traces of mudbricks have been found that became common in the following Pre-Pottery Neolithic A, abbreviated PPN A. The round houses have a diameter between 3 and 6 m, they contain a central round or subrectangular fireplace. In Ain Mallaha traces of postholes have been identified. These could have been used for rituals by the leader of the group. Villages can cover over 1,000 square meters. Smaller settlements have been interpreted as less permanent abodes (camps). Traces of rebuilding in almost all excavated settlements seem to point to a frequent relocation. This then indicates a temporary abandonment of the settlement. Settlements have been estimated to house 100–150, but there are three categories: small, median, and large, ranging from 15 m sq. to 1,000 m sq. of people. There are almost no indications of storage facilities." Source and further information: 3) Circular Natufian huts:

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