HK148b Aterian Hut Site, Har Karkom, Israel, Gallery 3 -- N and NE 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 3 is the third 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 N and NE perimeter of the hutfloor include:

Gallery 3 -- N and NE perimeter

    15. Geometric, shield-like, possibly abstract female torso; flint
    16a. Horse or wild ass + dorcas gazelle (maybe roan antelope, oryx, ibex or barbary sheep) + rhino head (?)
    ........+ vague shape like a human skull; flint
    16b. Geometric, possibly female figurine, 'goddess'; flint
    16c. Hippo; flint
    16d. Horse or wild ass; flint
    17. Indeterminate, very vague head of an animal, or rotating 90 degrees, suggestion of face, hood, holding up
    ........something, maybe mother and infant, or hands in prayer gesture; 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; or as otherwise cited. All James Harrod site photos taken on Emmanuel Anati Har Karkom Expedition, April 1996

a) hk148b nesector #15 b) hk148b #15 shieldlikefem c) hk148b esector #16 d) hk148b #16a equidv2 e) hk148b #16a equid
a) hk148b nesect... b) hk148b #15 sh... c) hk148b esecto... d) hk148b #16a e... e) hk148b #16a e...
f) hk148b #16a ibxantel g) hk148b #16a rhino h) hk148b #16a skull i) hk148b #16b fem j) hk148b #16c hippo
f) hk148b #16a i... g) hk148b #16a r... h) hk148b #16a s... i) hk148b #16b f... j) hk148b #16c h...
k) hk148b #16d equid l) hk148b esector #17 m) hk148b #17 n) gujihouse o) hk148b femoutsidehut
k) hk148b #16d e... l) hk148b esecto... m) hk148b #17.jpg n) gujihouse.jpg o) hk148b femout...

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