The number of archaeological sites of the Chalcolithic period in the Negev in which human bones have been found and examined in the last decade is relatively smaller than elsewhere in the country (only 8%). In addition, the state of preservation of the bones that were found is bad.
The sites that were excavated in the Negev and the conclusions that have been drawn from studying the existing finds will be presented in the lecture. Among other things, there is some similarity between the burial customs of the Negev population in the Chalcolithic period and those characterizing the rest of the regions where sites were found that are identified with the Ghassulian culture.
However, the drastic change in the burial practices that characterizes the population in the Land of Israel during the transition from the Chalcolithic period to the Bronze Age bypassed the Negev region. At the Negev sites and in Ashkelon the burial customs of the Chalcolithic period continue on into the Bronze Age without any significant difference. At the Ashkelon site, where a settlement and cemetery of the Early Bronze Age is currently being excavated, archaeologists found objects indicative of the Ghassulian culture, for example a fiddle-shaped figurine and burial customs that are unequivocally Chalcolithic in nature such as the separate burial of infants in jars inside the settlements.
These finds, as well as the ‘ladder” type burial that was recently uncovered simultaneously at Ashkelon (Early Bronze) and Palmahim (Chalcolithic), constitute in our opinion overwhelming evidence that demonstrates  the continuance of the population in the Negev between these two periods.