The book presents the entire assemblage of clay and stone figurative art from the Pottery Neolithic site of Sha’ar Hagolan (ca. 6,400-6,000 BCE). Nearly 300 items are presented in technical drawings, photographs and text. Detailed analysis reveals that most of the figurines, regardless the raw materials utilized in their fabrication, portray a specific anthropomorphic figure. The same figure is encountered in representations at all other Yarmukian sites, from Byblos in the north to ‘Ain Ghazal in the east. This clearly reflects shared symbolic expression throughout the large territory of the Yarmukian culture. The analysis differentiates between individual imagination and collective public imagination. The latter indicates strong group cohesion, achieved and maintained through common ideology and a shared worldview. The making of the figurines, the meaning of their attributes, and ritual that may have been associated with them were the main tools utilized in creating Yarmukian identity and solidarity.
Sha`ar Hagolan Vol. 3
Yosef Garfinkel, David Ben-Shlomo and Naomi Korn
404 pp, 24 x 31 cm., 34 color plates, hard cover
$76 ($57 to IES members)