Israel Antiquities Authority

Cleaning house. Druse workers brush dirt from the remains of houses at Rasm H|arbush, the largest Chalcolithic site in the Golan. Thirty to forty rectangular houses once stood here side by side in short chains in an unfortified village. Each string of homes likely housed an extended family; a longer chain indicates a larger family.

The two houses in this photo (colored yellow in the plan) share an end wall. Measuring about 50 feet by 20 feet, each house had an entrance in its long, southern wall. The walls—over 6 feet high—were made of unworked blocks of basalt, an impermeable volcanic rock abundant in the Golan. The uniformity of the individual homes and the absence of any public buildings suggest this was an egalitarian society.