Soil-Geomorphology and Micromorphology of a Natufian Depositional Record at El-Wad Terrace, Mount Carmel, Israel

Alexander Tsatskin, Reuven Yeshurun, Daniel Kaufman, Mina Weinstein-Evron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Natufian sequence at the site of el-Wad Terrace (EWT) shows a complex depositional record derived from intertwined soil-geomorphic and human processes. In order to identify site formation processes at EWT, we analyzed gravel composition, its distribution within the stratigraphic sequence, and micromorphology of both fine-grained material and gravel rims. The fine deposits within the EWT sequence are magnetically enhanced anthropogenic sediments mixed with a colluvial component. They contain miniscule burnt bones, charcoal, and calcareous aggregates reminiscent of reworked ash. The constructed stone floors in the earlier Early Natufian (ca. 15.0–13.7/13.0 ka) are largely covered by crusts on their undersides. In thin sections, the crusts exhibit a sequence of thin phosphate coatings directly overlying limestone calcite followed by clayey and secondary pedogenic calcite on the outer side. The expected post-depositional erosion of floors was likely hampered by their cementation resulting from pedogenic calcite redeposition. The major break in coarse deposition appears to have occurred in the later Early Natufian occupation phase marked by low rate of scree formation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)366-381
Number of pages16
JournalGeoarchaeology - An International Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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