Cambridge Archaeological Journal


An Alternative Interpretation for the Material Imagery of the Yarmukian, a Neolithic Culture of the Sixth Millennium BC in the Southern Levant

Avi Gophera1 and Estelle Orrellea1

a1 Institute of Archaeology Tel Aviv University P.O. Box 69978 Ramat Aviv Tel Aviv Israel


This study describes material imagery portraying anthropomorphic subjects executed in stone and clay which appear on sites of the Yarmukian culture in the Southern Levant during the sixth millennium BC. Speculations are made and interpretations offered for the incised stone and clay images of persons and genitals as artefacts recording encoded information. It is suggested that some kinds of imagery are associated with age and reproductive status and relate to gender categorization, and yet other kinds could be related to socio-political discussion.