GALILEE -- HOARD OF STONE TOOLS UNCOVERED
The cache, which comprises eighty flint blades, eight arrowheads, three lumps of flint, two sickle blades and two bone implements, was apparently concealed in a pit that was dug in the floor of a building and dates to the Pre-pottery Neolithic Period B (9,000-8,700 YBP).
A preliminary examination of the cache has revealed that these tools were produced by expert flint knappers who lived at the site and were engaged in the industrial knapping of blades, some of which were intended for local consumption, but most were knapped with the aim of exchanging them for other goods. The knappers’ high degree of professionalism is evidenced by the technology which they employed – the blades were knapped utilizing a flint knapping technology referred to as naviform technology. This technology was used to produce long, straight blades from lumps of flint that have two opposing striking platforms, while exploiting the flint bulbous in the most optimal manner.
Dr. Hamoudi Khalaily, director of the excavation at the Yiftah’el site on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, stated “the hoard from Yiftah’el is unique, both from the standpoint of its contents and the number of items in it. The discovery of a number of arrowheads in different stages of preparation among the hoard’s components reflects the nature of it – a kind of domestic stockpile that was hidden away and meant for future use; that is to say, for bartering. If today we talk about hiding money under the mattress for use on a rainy day, then in the period prior to the invention of coins people accumulated products that they themselves would produce in order to exchange them for other items when they would need them”.
Dr. Khalaily added that “hoards of flint blades are a rarity in Neolithic sites. Dr. Khalaily adds “the discovery was facilitated by the group of veteran laborers employed by the Israel Antiquities Authority whose extensive experience in the delicate work of prehistoric excavations made the exposure of the hoard possible”.