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A New Look at Shelter 131/51 in the Natufian Site of Eynan (Ain-Mallaha), Israel.

Haklay G, Gopher A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: A new look at the architectural remains and the stratigraphy resulted in an alternative reconstruction, essentially different than the one we have come to know.We used spatial (architectural-geometrical) analysis in order to study the relationships between the different architectural elements and to test our hypothesis that the series of postholes may have not pertained to the upper floor 131 of Layer IV as suggested by Perrot and Valla, but rather to the successive occupational and architectural episode.The association of the postholes with Wall 51 of Layer III sheds new light on the architectural remains revealing their geometric design, an important characteristic of Early Natufian Architecture, the meaning and implications of which we shortly discuss.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

ABSTRACT
In the past 25 years since the reconstruction of Shelter 131 of Eynan was suggested by Francois Valla, its image has become almost iconic--a highly cited symbol of early sedentism constituting a significant part of our knowledge on early stone constructions and the people behind them. A new look at the architectural remains and the stratigraphy resulted in an alternative reconstruction, essentially different than the one we have come to know. We used spatial (architectural-geometrical) analysis in order to study the relationships between the different architectural elements and to test our hypothesis that the series of postholes may have not pertained to the upper floor 131 of Layer IV as suggested by Perrot and Valla, but rather to the successive occupational and architectural episode. The association of the postholes with Wall 51 of Layer III sheds new light on the architectural remains revealing their geometric design, an important characteristic of Early Natufian Architecture, the meaning and implications of which we shortly discuss.

No MeSH data available.


Architectural-geometrical analysis and results.
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pone.0130121.g007: Architectural-geometrical analysis and results.

Mentions: The association of the postholes with Wall 51 ultimately revealed a simple geometric pattern that enabled us to reconstruct the suggested plan. The regression line calculated from the resulting set of center points indicates the axis of construction at this location along the Early Natufian occupations (Fig 4). This axis which seems to align with the direction of the slope (possibly in ancient times as well), might indicate a possible facing direction. Considering the Early Natufian construction techniques, the direction of the slope should ideally be opposite to the direction of interest, which in Eynan’s case might have been the spring to the North. This North-South axis was ultimately embedded in the spatial organization of Shelter 51 (Fig 7) connecting a series of features including the southern posthole, the symmetry axis of the double hearth installation (described by Valla as the true center of the building [14], the common center of Wall 51 and of the concentric arch of postholes, and hearth 76 that was initially attributed to Shelter 51 [11] and later suggested to have existed in its location throughout the Early Natufian occupations [14, 16]. Acknowledging the importance of this axis, we can suggest a reconstruction of the missing eastern part of Wall 51 to complete a 180 degrees structure open to the North. This part of the Wall 51 was not preserved probably due to the successive construction of structure 121 of Layer II. Posthole 139 (the seventh posthole that does not lie on the concentric arch) might indicate a second ring of postholes following a suggestion by Perrot [15] or, as we suggest, it could have been built at a spot where additional support was needed during the lifetime of the shelter. This posthole played a significant role in Valla’s reasoning towards his reconstruction. Yet, as a part of his suggested upper structure, this post is structurally redundant, an unnecessary structural element that was rightfully not part of reconstructing the symmetric northern part of the roof. We suggest that Posthole 139, which also differs in nature from the other postholes and lies in burial ground B, should be understood as a later addition not pertaining to the same construction episode of the other postholes. As such it was not used for calculating the center value of the series of postholes.


A New Look at Shelter 131/51 in the Natufian Site of Eynan (Ain-Mallaha), Israel.

Haklay G, Gopher A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Architectural-geometrical analysis and results.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4496039&req=5

pone.0130121.g007: Architectural-geometrical analysis and results.
Mentions: The association of the postholes with Wall 51 ultimately revealed a simple geometric pattern that enabled us to reconstruct the suggested plan. The regression line calculated from the resulting set of center points indicates the axis of construction at this location along the Early Natufian occupations (Fig 4). This axis which seems to align with the direction of the slope (possibly in ancient times as well), might indicate a possible facing direction. Considering the Early Natufian construction techniques, the direction of the slope should ideally be opposite to the direction of interest, which in Eynan’s case might have been the spring to the North. This North-South axis was ultimately embedded in the spatial organization of Shelter 51 (Fig 7) connecting a series of features including the southern posthole, the symmetry axis of the double hearth installation (described by Valla as the true center of the building [14], the common center of Wall 51 and of the concentric arch of postholes, and hearth 76 that was initially attributed to Shelter 51 [11] and later suggested to have existed in its location throughout the Early Natufian occupations [14, 16]. Acknowledging the importance of this axis, we can suggest a reconstruction of the missing eastern part of Wall 51 to complete a 180 degrees structure open to the North. This part of the Wall 51 was not preserved probably due to the successive construction of structure 121 of Layer II. Posthole 139 (the seventh posthole that does not lie on the concentric arch) might indicate a second ring of postholes following a suggestion by Perrot [15] or, as we suggest, it could have been built at a spot where additional support was needed during the lifetime of the shelter. This posthole played a significant role in Valla’s reasoning towards his reconstruction. Yet, as a part of his suggested upper structure, this post is structurally redundant, an unnecessary structural element that was rightfully not part of reconstructing the symmetric northern part of the roof. We suggest that Posthole 139, which also differs in nature from the other postholes and lies in burial ground B, should be understood as a later addition not pertaining to the same construction episode of the other postholes. As such it was not used for calculating the center value of the series of postholes.

Bottom Line: A new look at the architectural remains and the stratigraphy resulted in an alternative reconstruction, essentially different than the one we have come to know.We used spatial (architectural-geometrical) analysis in order to study the relationships between the different architectural elements and to test our hypothesis that the series of postholes may have not pertained to the upper floor 131 of Layer IV as suggested by Perrot and Valla, but rather to the successive occupational and architectural episode.The association of the postholes with Wall 51 of Layer III sheds new light on the architectural remains revealing their geometric design, an important characteristic of Early Natufian Architecture, the meaning and implications of which we shortly discuss.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

ABSTRACT
In the past 25 years since the reconstruction of Shelter 131 of Eynan was suggested by Francois Valla, its image has become almost iconic--a highly cited symbol of early sedentism constituting a significant part of our knowledge on early stone constructions and the people behind them. A new look at the architectural remains and the stratigraphy resulted in an alternative reconstruction, essentially different than the one we have come to know. We used spatial (architectural-geometrical) analysis in order to study the relationships between the different architectural elements and to test our hypothesis that the series of postholes may have not pertained to the upper floor 131 of Layer IV as suggested by Perrot and Valla, but rather to the successive occupational and architectural episode. The association of the postholes with Wall 51 of Layer III sheds new light on the architectural remains revealing their geometric design, an important characteristic of Early Natufian Architecture, the meaning and implications of which we shortly discuss.

No MeSH data available.