El-Wad (Cave of the Valley) is situated on the southern escarpment of Nahal Me'arot (Valley of the Caves), together with tree other caves: Tabun, Skhul and Jamal. El-Wad, cave with terrace,covers a larger area that any of the other 3 caves.

In autumn 1928 Mr. Charles Lambert,Assistant Directorof the Mandatory Department of Antiquities of Palestine, made 5 soundings in the place.He found on the terrace there 2 burials, the first ever unearthed at Mount Carmel. Inside the cave an art object (the handle of a sickle-blade haft carved as a young animal) was found,the first prehistoric art ever discovered in the Near East.

Recognition of archaeologically importance of the caves in Valley were followed by 6 years of excavation, on behalf of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem and the American School of Prehistoric Research, by Dorothy A. E. Garrod. El-Wad excavated during 5 seasons (1929-1933) and was carried out both in the cave and on the terrace.

In 1980-1981,limited excavations were conducted by F. Valla,of the French Archaeological Mission in Jerusalem,and O. Bar-Yosef,of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, north-east of Garrod's terrace excavation in the area.

In 1988-1993, excavations in Chamber III of the cave were conducted by Mina Weinstein-Evron, of the University of Haifa. The focus of this excavation with all new and improved techniques was reevaluation of several important aspects of Early Natufian.

(More about results of this excavation in book:
"Early Natufian el-Wad Revisited" by Mina Weinstein-Evron, 1998)

El-Wad been considered as a main Natufian site. The cave has furnished us with one of the longest and most complete Natufian sequences. During the excavationon the site discovered architecture, the presence of a large cemetery, rich lithic and groundstone assemblages, art objects.

If you want to read little bit about Natufian culture, click

for little bibliography

Few articles in pdf (Acrobat Reader format) about El-Wad:

1.D. A. E. Garrod A New Mesolithic Industry: The Natufian of Palestine. here

2. Anna Belfer-Cohen The Natufian in the Levant.here

3. B. A. Mastin The Extended Burials at the Mugharet el-Wad. here

From 1994 on terrace, west of Garrod's terrace excavation in the area, conducted excavations by Mina Weinstein-Evron and Daniel Kaufman, of the University of Haifa. This is excavationin progress and still unpublished one,so I can't expose any scientific details from it, but about my experiences I would tell you .... 80)

3 articles published about our excavations (in pdf):

1.Mina Weinstein-Evron and Shimon Ilani Provenance of Ochre in the Natufian Layers of el-Wad Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel.here

2. Lior Weissbrod, Tamar Dayan, Daniel Kaufman and Mina Weinstein-Evron Micromammal taphonomy of el-Wad Terrace, Mount Carmel, Israel: distinguishing cultural from natural depositional agents in the Late Natufian. here

3. Guy Bar-Oz, Tamar Dayan, Daniel Kaufman and Mina Weinstein-Evron The Natufian economy at el-Wad Terrace with special reference to gazelle exploitation patterns. here

Soon, I hope would be published new article:
M. Weinstein-Evron, D. Kaufman, A. Tsatskin, G. Bar-Oz, T. Dayan, I. Hershkovitz, N. Bachrach, L. Weissbrod, N. Liber, D.E Bar-Yosef Mayer, After 70 years: new excavations at the el-Wad Terrace, Mount Carmel



How looks the most famous Natufian burial in El-Wad (reconstruction)

General view on Nahal Me'arot

View on the cliff (including view on greenhouse above area of excavation and part of our field laboratory's building)

How are we digging 8)

Beer - something to chear people up after day of hard work 8P

Legendary "picking" - the process that we all love and cherish 8

It was a long long day.... April 2003

Sieving on the site.... pure joy 8P

Little break for ice-cream and coffee...." Recharging the batteries"

Reuven and Ido in middle of work...

Sieving - what can be better in spring morning? Alla and Michal

Yossi and Itai

What do you see, Michal?

Sometimes working on the morning can be too much....


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