Retrieving the Supernatural

Marc Verhoeven

in The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199232444
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

Retrieving the Supernatural


This article deals with ritual and religion in the Palaeolithic and Neolithic of the Levant, consisting of Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The objective is to present a chronological overview of indications of ritual and religion, as well as an account of approaches, as exemplified by current work on Neolithic religion, the so-called skull cult, feasting. The Middle Palaeolithic evidence is briefly discussed, but the focus is on the Upper Palaeolithic (45,000–20,000 cal. bp), Epipalaeolithic (20,000–12,000 cal. bp), and the Neolithic (12,000–7,300 cal. bp). The Early and Middle Epipalaeolithic is represented by the Kebaran; the Late Epipalaeolithic by the Natufian. The subsequent Neolithic consists of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA), the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) and the Late (Pottery) Neolithic periods.

Keywords: Paleolithic; Neolithic; Israel; Palestinian Territories; Lebanon; Jordan; Syria; skull cult; feasting

Article.  6703 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology

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