Programmes > Par auteur > Berger Uri

Israeli Monumental Dolmen – Rock art of an enigmatic culture
Uri Berger  1@  , Gonen Sharon  2@  
1 : Israel Antiquities Authority  (IAA)  -  Site web
Rockefeller Museum, Sultan Suliman St. Jerusalem -  Israël
2 : Tel Hai College  (THC)  -  Site web
Upper Galilee, 1220800 -  Israël

Excavation of the Shamir Dolmen Field (comprising over 400 dolmens), on the northern Israeli basaltic terrains, was carried out following the discovery of enigmatic rock art engravings on the ceiling of one of the largest dolmens ever recorded in the Levant. Excavation of this dolmen, covered by a basalt capstone weighing some 50 tons, revealed a secondary multi-burial (of both adults and children) rarely described in a dolmen context in Israel. Engraved into the rock ceiling above the multi-burial is a panel of 14 forms composed of a vertical line and downturned arc motif. Building of the Shamir dolmens required a tremendous amount of labour, architectural mastery, and complex socio-economic organization well beyond the capacity of small, rural nomadic groups of the era. The monumental megalithic burial of the Shamir dolmens indicates a hierarchical, complex, non-urban governmental system. The newly discovered rock art and the burial uncovered beneath it, reveals new insights in to the dolmen culture research in Israel and the Levant. The dolmens of Shamir, increase our understanding of one of the most mysterious and underestimated cultures of the biblical landscapes.

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