Lodian culture

The Lodian culture or Jericho IX culture is a Pottery Neolithic archaeological culture of the Southern Levant dating to approximately the first half of the 5th millennium BCE.[1]

The Lodian culture is defined by its distinctive pottery. It was first identified by John Garstang during his excavations of the eponymous Layer IX at Jericho.[1] Thomas Levy later coined the term Lodian, shifting the type site to that of Lod, first excavated by Jacob Kaplan in the 1950s.[1] The relationship between the Lodian culture and the two other Southern Levantine Pottery Neolithic cultures, the Yarmoukian and the Wadi Raba culture, has been debated for many years. Levy argued that it was a short-lived but distinct tradition that emerged after the Yarmoukian and before the Wadi Raba.[1]

Most known settlements associated with the Lodian culture were small and ephemeral. From the few sites remains of architecture have been found, it appears the inhabitants lived in circular, semi-subterranean structures made from mudbrick.[1] They kept domestic animals, including sheep, goats, cattle and pigs, and also fished and hunted wild gazelle.[1] It is assumed that they also grew the typical Neolithic crops, e.g. cereals and legumes, but no archaeobotanical evidence has been recovered from Lodian sites to confirm this.[1]

Lodian pottery is typically painted and burnished, with distinctive geometric motifs and vessel forms.[1] Its lithic industry is dominated by flake tools, including several characteristic types of arrowheads (Haparsa, Nizzanim, and Herzlia points) and sickle blades. Bipolar cores, common in preceding cultures, disappeared during the Lodian.[1] Figurines and other ritual objects are notably rare in Lodian assemblages, unlike the Yarmoukian.[1]

Sites with Lodian material include Jericho, Lod, Tel Megiddo, Teluliot Batashi, Tel Lachish, Tel Ali, Abu Zurayq, Wadi Shueib, Dhra′, Khirbet ed-Dharih, Nizzanim, Givat Haparsa,[1] and En Esur.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Levy, Thomas Evan (1998). The archaeology of society in the Holy Land (2nd ed.). Leicester University Press. pp. 210–211. ISBN 9780718501655. OCLC 40143782.
  2. ^ Yannai, Eli; Ariel, Donald T.; Carmi, Israel; Grosinger, Zohar; Horowitz, Aharon; Khalaily, Hamoudi; Lazar-Shorer, Dorit; Marder, Ofer; Milevski, Ianir (2006). "The Pottery Assemblages". ’En Esur (`Ein Asawir) I: excavations at a protohistoric site in the coastal plain of Israel. 31. Israel Antiquities Authority. pp. 63–178.

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