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Classification des sépultures à superstructure lithique dans le Levant et l’Arabie occidentale

(IV e et IIIe millénaires avant J.-C.)

Tara Steimer-Herbet


In the Levant and Western Arabia some 270 prehistoric cemeteries have been registered, representing approximately 25000 burials with lithic superstructures. These stone monuments are little known and their remains are at risk in the modern territories that contain them. A first look at the documentation available indicates that these burials appeared in the fourth millennium and vanished at the end of the third millennium BC. The burials are localized mainly in interior steppe areas, mostly on rocky headlands. The author discusses the similarities evident between the funerary structures discovered in the Levant and in Arabia - in terms of construction techniques, design, distribution and topographical situation - and suggests that these burials with lithic superstructures, although distributed on a vast geographical area, belong to populations of semi-nomad or nomads pastors with a shared cultural background.