Early Remains in Kfar Cana

Howard Smithline, Israel Antiquities Authority

The excavation to be described, conducted in Nov. and Dec., 2001, sheds light on Kfar Cana prior to the Roman Period. The excavation was conducted in a number of areas extending along the main street of Cana, south of Kikar HaMa'ayan.
Remains of a 4th century BCE pottery kiln that produced everted rim storage jars were found adjacent to the Cana spring. The spring is the lowest point in the area before it slopes up to the south. The nearly two meters of accumulated material above the kiln illustrates how the local topography has changed over the last 2400 years. It may be assumed that earlier periods are several meters deeper thus making the original slope much steeper and veritably separated from the more level north.
Higher up the slope a 2.00 x 3.00 m sounding revealed a stone floor which yielded a large amount of Intermediate Bronze Age ceramic material.
The upper slope yielded stratified material, the earliest dating from the PPNB and through the Early Chalcolithic Period.

The Early Chalcolithic Period featured a round stone-lined installation adjacent to a wall fragment, a floor of tightly packed stones, sherds and bones and several pits each containing a large quantity of discarded sherds and stones. Outstanding among the sherds were the numerous painted bow-rim jar fragments. Noteworthy, as well, is the occurrence of churns in the ceramic assemblage. The flint assemblage is characterized by the large amount of sickle blades.
Underlying the Early Chalcolithic level were packed surfaces, stone floors and several walls all dating to the PPNB. A thick plaster floor with a large stone-lined installation is also attributed to this period. The PPNB flint assemblage is dominated by blades and Byblos and 'Amuq arrowheads while there is a significant reduction in the percentage of sickle blades.
The PPNB accumulation reaches a depth of nearly one meter making it the major period of settlement at the site.


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