HK148b Aterian Hut Site, Har Karkom, Israel, Gallery 2 -- West Sector
c. greater than 100,000 to 24,000 BP

Har Karkom site HK148b. To the south of site 86b a large round hut floor (9 m diameter). Finds include Aterian notched points and late Middle Palaeolithic flints (E. Anati at

The Aterian is a later Middle Paleolithic culture of North Africa and the Near East. It is characterized by tanged and foliated points, Levallois and disc cores, flake scrapers, burins, and blades at late sites. Aterian dates include western desert of Egypt (Useries and TL) greater than 100,000 BP; Morocco (C14) greater than 40,000 and 23,700.

This Gallery 2 is the second of three galleries of potential stone sculptures discovered cirumabulating the inside edge of the circular hutfloor. Most of these objects are clearly worked pieces of flint, presumably taken from the surrounding hammada or from the flint quarry adjacent to HK86b. Gallery 1 shows objects along the SE and S perimeter; Gallery 2--this gallery--the west sector; and Gallery 3 the N and NE perimeter. Clearly, as a surface site the dating the artifacts is not secure and site disturbance is possible.

Tentative interpretation (James Harrod). This site is awesome both in its landscape and potential palaeoart finds. Some objects are clearly worked; others may be 'nature-facts', though apparently manuported to their present location. They appear to represent zoomorphic, anthropomorphic and geometric sculptures, apparently placed inside the perimeter of the hut. A list of potential representational sculptures for all three galleries is given at Gallery 1. Numbered figurines for this West Sector of the hutfloor include:

Gallery 2 -- W sector

    8. Female figurine, with geometric form; flint
    9. Geometric, pentangular, shield-like, possibly female figurine, 'goddess'; limestone
    10. Horse + hippo + elephant; flint
    11. Geometric, roughly pentangular, or pointed with curved base, 'goddess'; flint
    12a. Geometric, pentangular, shield-like, with point ('head'), possibly female figurine, 'goddess'; flint
    12b. Geometric, rhomboid with pick-like point, possibly female figurine, 'goddess'; flint
    13a. Elephant + hippo; flint
    13b. Geometric, rhomboid, possibly elephant; flint
    14. Geometric, pentagonal or hexagonal disc core or discoidal biface, possibly female figurine, 'goddess'; flint

As noted in the analysis presented at Gallery 1, there appears to be a tendency for female figurines to predominate in the western sector of the hutfloor and zoomorphs toward the north, south and east sides of the circle. I discuss a present day parallel in the hut design of the Oromo-speaking Guji of Ethiopia at Gallery 1.

Photo © James Harrod. All James Harrod site photos taken on Emmanuel Anati Har Karkom Expedition, April 1996.


a) hk148b westsector#8 etc b) hk148b #8 femalepluszoo c) hk148b westsec#9101112 d) hk148b #1110 e) hk148b #11 subtrifem
a) hk148b westse... b) hk148b #8 fem... c) hk148b westse... d) hk148b #1110.jpg e) hk148b #11 su...
f) hk148b #10 hippofront g) hk148b #10 rtsidehorse h) hk148b #10 bottomeleph i) hk148b #12ashieldfem j) hk148b #12bfemale
f) hk148b #10 hi... g) hk148b #10 rt... h) hk148b #10 bo... i) hk148b #12ash... j) hk148b #12bfe...
k) hk148b #13a area l) hk148b #13a hip m) hk148b #13ahipv2 n) hk148b #13 aeleph o) hk148b #13aelephv2
k) hk148b #13a a... l) hk148b #13a h... m) hk148b #13ahi... n) hk148b #13 ae... o) hk148b #13ael...
p) hk148b #14 hexnucleifem q) hk148b #13b rhombeleph
p) hk148b #14 he... q) hk148b #13b r...

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