Journal of World Prehistory

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 297–353

Cultures of the eighth and seventh millennia BP in the southern Levant: A review for the 1990s

  • Avi Gopher
  • Ram Gophna

DOI: 10.1007/BF00974722

Cite this article as:
Gopher, A. & Gophna, R. J World Prehist (1993) 7: 297. doi:10.1007/BF00974722


The Pottery Neolithic of the southern Levant (the eighth and seventh millennia BP) was a crucial period in which the foundations were laid for the development of complex societies and urban civilization. This article summarizes the current state of research in this area during this period. Past and present research in Israel and Jordan is reviewed, and methodological problems in fieldwork and analysis are discussed. We attempt a systematic definition of the archaeological entities. For each such entity, we present the available data on chronostratigraphy, characteristics of the material culture (including lithics, ceramics and architecture), burial customs, figurines and images, economy, and site-distribution. While the Yarmukian and Jericho IX occupied territories of similar size and seem to represent entities on the scale of a “culture,” the later Wadi Raba entity extended over a larger area and was of longer duration. A chronostratigraphic summary is presented, and the major entities are compared in terms of site-types, economy, burials, and geographical distribution.

Key words

Pottery Neolithicsouthern LevantYarmukianJericho IXWadi Raba

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Avi Gopher
    • 1
  • Ram Gophna
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of ArchaeologyTel Aviv UniversityRamat AvivIsrael