Israel Antiquities Authority

An impressed rope pattern snakes its way around this large pithos, or storage jar, which held grain or dry goods. The author’s serendipitous discovery in 1973 of pottery sherds incised with this typical Chalcolithic design provided the first clue of Chalcolithic life on the Golan.

Epstein’s excavations on the Golan recovered numerous large jars and heavy basalt artifacts, but few small objects. Perhaps when the sites were abandoned at the beginning of the fourth millennium B.C.E., the inhabitants took with them only those items that could easily be carried on donkey.