Nizzanim culture

Map of Pottery Neolithic in the Southern Levant in
 Nizzanim culture

The Nizzanim culture is a suggested archaeological culture from the Pottery Neolithic of the Southern Levant. It was identified in three sites in the southern coastal plain of modern Israel including the type site Nizzanim, Giv‘at Haparsa and Hof Zikim which were studied by Ya'akov Olami, Felix Burian, Erich Friedman, Shmuel Yeivin and Yosef Garfinkel. In those sites there were no architectural remains but pits and floor levels with hearths. These findings seem to represent a pastoral-nomadic population, similar to the precedeeing population of Pre-Pottery Neolithic Ashkelon and the Qatifian culture.[1] Garfinkel suggests that these settlement served as seasonal hunting or fishing campsites.[2]

The dating of the Nizzanim culture is unclear mainly because no stratigraphic relations with different periods have been observed. While Garfinkel suggests it coexisted with the Yarmukian and Lodian culture, Avi Gopher and Ram Gophna reject the sites as a distinct culture and consider it to be a variant of the Lodian culture. Only one proper radiocarbon date from the sites is available (5767–5541 BCE) but dates one of the sites to the time of the Wadi Raba culture (post-dating the Yarmukian and Lodian). This date contradicts the archaeological findings and most archaeologists agree that they represent the Pottery Neolithic (c. 6400 - 5800 BCE).[2]


The pottery of the Nizzanim culture is characterized by simple and rough designs with very little decorations. This type of pottery is considered very simple in compare to other Neolithic pottery assemblages, including those of the nearby Yarmukian and Lodian cultures.[2]

The flint tool types are similar to the types of the preceding Pre-Pottery Neolithic tools with a large number of arrowheads, sickle blades and hole punchers, while hand axes are relatively scarce.[1]


  1. ^ a b Yosef Garfinkel (2019). "Sha'ar Hagolan Volume 5, Early Pyrotechnology: Ceramics and White Ware". Qedem Reports. Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 14: 12. JSTOR 26747746.
  2. ^ a b c Katharina Streit (2017). "Transregional Interactions Between Egypt and the Southern Levant in The 6th Millennium calBC". Egypt and the Levant. 27: 415–416. JSTOR 26524910.

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