ABSTRACT

The unique “Cave of the Warrior” burial, found in a Judean Desert cave and dated to the end of the Chalcolithic period, was accompanied by a large number of grave goods made of perishable materials. It opens up an unusual opportunity to recover aspects of the life of an individual person. Based on a reexamination of his personal belongings, we created a microhistory of this individual. We show how a careful analysis of a single-event site contributes to the interpretation and definition of the archaeological record and periodization. The individual most probably originated in the Judean or Samarian Highlands from a settlement whose inhabitants practiced a mixed Mediterranean economy. The individual himself practiced pastoralism and traveled between the highlands and the desert. The remote location and unique burial may be seen as reflective of stresses related to demographic and economic changes occurring at the end of the Chalcolithic period.

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