Archaeology, Anthropology and Cult: The Sanctuary at Gilat, Israel

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The Chalcolithic period was formative in Near Eastern prehistory, being a time of fundamental social change in craft specialization, horticulture and temple life. Gilat - a low mound, semi-communal farming settlement in the Negev desert - is one of the few Chalcolithic sanctuary sites in the Southern Levant. 'Archaeology, Anthropology and Cult' presents a critical analysis of the archaeological data from Gilat. The book brings together archaeological finds and anthropological theory to examine the role of religion in the evolution of society and the power of ritual in promoting change. This comprehensive volume, which includes artefact drawings, photographs, maps and data tables, will be of interest to students and scholars of ancient history, anthropology, archaeology, as well as biblical and religious studies.

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Table of Contents

Preface Thomas E. Levy. I. Theory - Archaeology, Anthropology and Cult: Exploring Religion in Formative Middle Range Societies Thomas E. Levy; Cults, Shrines and the Emergence of Regional Ritual Centers: The View from New Guinea Donald F. Tuzin; Tribal Pilgrimages to Saint's Tombs in South Sinai Emanuel Marx; The Rise of a New Negev Cult Center Today: Baba Sali's Sanctuary in Netivot, Israel Yoram Bilu; II. Archaeological Foundations; 1. The Sanctuary Sequence: Excavations at Gilat: 1975-77, 1989, 1990-92 Thomas E. Levy, David Alon, James D. Anderson, Yorke M. Rowan and Morag Kersel; III. Biological Data from Gilat; 2. Farming? Feasting? Herding? Large Mammals from the Chalcolithic of Gilat Caroline Grigson; 3. Marine and Riverine Shells from Gilat Daniella E. Bar-Yosef Mayer; 4. Death and the Sanctuary: The Human Remains from Gilat Patricia Smith, Tania Zagerson, Pamela Sabari, Jonathan Golden, Thomas E. Levy and Leslie Dawson; IV. The Emergence of Gilat as a Regional Cult Center - Production and Exchange; 5. Tracking Ceramic Production at Gilat: Petrographic Studies Yuval Goren; 6. Gilat's Ceramics: Cognitive Dimensions of Pottery Production Catherine Commenge, Thomas E. Levy, David Alon and Eric Kansa; 7. Flint Tool Production at Gilat Yorke M. Rowan; 8. Gilat's Ground Stone Assemblage: Stone Fenestrated Stands, Bowls, Palettes and Related Artifacts Yorke M. Rowan, Thomas E. Levy, Yuval Goren and David Alon; 9. The Worked Bone from the Chalcolithic Site of Gilat - Interim Report Caroline Grigson; V. Processes of Integration: The Emergence of a Pan-Regional Ritual Center; 10. The Intensification of Production in the Gilat Sanctuary: Dimensions of Textile and Other Forms of Manufacture Thomas E. Levy, Yorke M. Rowan, Wendy Conner and David Alon; 11. Gilat's Figurines: Exploring the Social and Symbolic Dimensions of Representation Catherine Commenge, Thomas E. Levy, David Alon and Eric Kansa; 12. Conclusion: The Evolution of a Levantine Regional Cult Center Thomas E. Levy

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