added by archaeologs An important site in the Jordan Valley of Israel with a continuous sequence from the Natufian to the Late Bronze Age. Camping occupation of the Mesolithic c 9000 BC developed into the pre-pottery Neolithic c 8350-7350 BC when there was a walled town of mud-brick houses, which is amongst the earliest permanent settlements known. There was at least one massive stone tower. To the succeeding PPNB levels dated 7250-5850 BC, belongs the series of famous plastered skulls. In c 1580, the Hyksos settlement, with its tombs, plastered glacis, woodwork, basketry, pottery, and bronze, was destroyed by the Egyptians. The Late Bronze Age town captured by Joshua's Israelites has left very few traces. There was some reoccupation during the Iron Age.
added by archaeologs Known today as Tell es-Sultan, Jericho lies in an oasis in the Jordan Valley north of the Dead Sea, on a main east-west route. Its long stratigraphy documents almost continuous occupation from before 9000 be to cl580 bc. At the base of the tell was a Natuf-ian deposit, associated with a rectangular platform surrounded by stone walls, interpreted by the excavator, Kathleen Kenyon, as a shrine. The Natufran deposit was four metres thick in places, but has provided little evidence of other structural remains or of subsistence economy. It was succeeded by Pre-Pottery Neolithic A levels, with radiocarbon dates in the range 8350-7370 be. At this stage the settlement covered a surprisingly large four hectares and was surrounded by a stone wall and a ditch, reinforced by at least one massive stone tower. The houses of this period were round and built of mud-brick. The population was already growing emmer wheat, barley and pulses, while the meat portion of the diet was supplied in the main by gazelle, supplemented by wild cattle, boar and goat. It is possible that some of these animals were being herded, although the evidence is exiguous. In the succeeding Pre-Pottery Neolithic B levels (with radiocarbon dates 7220-5850 be), rectangular houses with plastered floors and walls were built; an increased range of cultivated plants was exploited and it is possible that domesticated sheep were kept. Evidence of an ancestor cult is present in the form of skulls with facial features restored in plaster and, in some cases, eyes set with cowrie or other shells. A break in occupation followed the PPNB levels, but there is evidence of some reoccupation in later Neolithic and Chalcolithic times. From the late 4th millennium bc there was a walled town on the site which was continuously occupied until cl580 bc when the settlement, with a sloping plastered ramp of Hyksos type, was destroyed by the Egyptians. It was probably reoccupied cl400 bc, to be captured by the Israelites under Joshua, but erosion has removed almost all traces of occupation of this period.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983