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Ashkelon

An update to Vol. 1, pp. 103–112.

By Yosef GarfinkelDoron DagLawrence E. Stager

THE SITE

The most ancient settlement known in Ashkelon is dated to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic C (first half of the eighth millennium bp). The site is located c. 1.5 km north of Tel Ashkelon in the modern-day Afridar neighborhood, upon a kurkar ridge next to the Mediterranean, c. 12–13 m above present-day sea level.

EXCAVATIONS

The site was first surveyed and excavated in 1955 by J. Perrot, who in 1996 published the results of his research in a final report. He conducted an intensive surface survey and documented the site topography before it was entirely destroyed by development activity. Perrot noted several concentrations of finds over an area of several hundred meters and estimated that the site covered approximately 5 a. In the western part of the site, which was rich in finds, a test excavation was conducted over a c. 100-sq-m area, exposing a dense concentration of pits. These are circular or elliptical in shape. The base diameter of most exceeds that of the mouth, producing a bell shape. The depth of the pits ranges between 1–2 m. No traces of structures, installations or hearths were found during this excavation. The finds included flint and stone tools but no pottery. The area excavated by Perrot was quickly covered by sand.

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