Conventions in fresh water fishing in the prehistoric southern Levant: The evidence from the study of Neolithic Beisamoun notched pebbles

  • Danny Rosenberg University of Haifa
  • Marva Agnon University of Haifa
  • Daniel Kaufman University of Haifa
Keywords: notched stone weights, fishing, southern Levant, Hula Valley, Neolithic period, ground stone tools


[Research Article]

Fishing gear is not frequently found in archaeological sites in the southern Levant. Bone hooks were found as early as the later Epipalaeolithic period (mainly in Natufian culture sites) and continue to appear in small numbers until the Chalcolithic period, when the first copper hooks are found. But for most sites, we have scant information about fishing gear or techniques. The paucity of fishing gear in archaeological assemblages is notable and holds true for sites near the former Mediterranean Sea shore and for inland sites situated near fresh water sources. This may be attributed to preservation issues, in part, but also seems to reflect preferences in the selection of raw material for making various fishing implements. The present paper discusses a specific type of fishing gear, the notched pebbles. These implements are small pebbles with various degrees of modification - sometime including notable modification of the original pebble by flaking and sometimes only slightly modifying it by creating the two opposed notches. We will use the assemblage found at the Neolithic site of Beisamoun, in the Hula Valley, northern Israel as a test-case for discussing raw material and other preferences and long-term aspects of conventions in fresh water fishing gear.

Author Biographies

Danny Rosenberg, University of Haifa

Laboratory for Ground-stone Tools Research
Zinman Institute of Archaeology
University of Haifa

Marva Agnon, University of Haifa
Laboratory for Ground-stone Tools Research
Zinman Institute of Archaeology
University of Haifa
Daniel Kaufman, University of Haifa
Zinman Institute of Archaeology
University of Haifa


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How to Cite
Rosenberg, D., Agnon, M., & Kaufman, D. (2016). Conventions in fresh water fishing in the prehistoric southern Levant: The evidence from the study of Neolithic Beisamoun notched pebbles. Journal of Lithic Studies, 3(3), 457-478.
Presented at the 1st Meeting of the Association for Ground Stone Tools Research