Magal, Prehistoric Survey

Hamudi Khalaily and Sigal Golan
26/09/2014
Final Report
In July 2003, a survey was conducted along the route of the Cross-Israel Highway west and southwest of Kibbutz Magal (Permit No. A-3963; map ref. 2020–2/6955–97), after numerous flint items were discovered in the eastern section of the road. The survey, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by H. Khalaily and S. Golan, with the assistance of K. Sharvit, E. Yannai, G. Sharon (Hebrew University) and L. Barda (GPS).
The survey was carried out along level farmland that was deeply plowed and planted with many trees. Its purpose was to locate the origin of the prehistoric finds, and identify the geologic formation from which they came. Two concentrations of finds were located c. 200 m apart, one in the upper part of the road’s eastern section and the other below the roadbed. The two concentrations of finds were observed inside sedimentary clay soil ranging in color from brown to dark brown. The elevations of the finds in both concentrations were identical. The stratigraphic sequence was discerned in the section of the road. A thick layer of heavy dark-gray clay soil (grumosol; thickness 2.2 m) was discerned in the upper part of the section. Below this layer was a layer of conglomerate and limestone rock (thickness c. 3 m). A layer of light brown kurkar containing hamra lenses was discerned at the bottom of the section.
The finds include numerous flint items, including hand axes, choppers, broad flakes and flake cores, all characteristic of the Acheulean culture of the Lower Paleolithic period. Most of the tools bear brown patination, indicating that they were exposed for a lengthy period. No finds indicative of a habitation level were discovered. It seems that most of the tools were not in situ; rather they were eroded here from a nearby site or were brought together with fill in order to improve the quality of the soil.
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