Death is "signified by the burial of stone objects and by setting them upside down," the team members wrote in their paper.
In one case, a humanlike stone carving was found buried "with only the very top visible on the surface." The two symbols identified so far, fertility and death, go hand in hand in many cultures.
Other findings there include standing stones that reach up to 2.6 feet (80 centimeters) high, stone bowls and stone carvings that have a humanlike shape. In one area the team discovered 44 cult sites in a spot encompassing only 0.8 square kilometers (less than 200 acres).
"Taking in[to] consideration the topography, environmental conditions and the small number of known Neolithic habitations in the general southern Negev, the density of cult sites in this region is phenomenal," the team wrote in an article published recently in the Journal of the Israel Prehistoric Society.
Fertility and death Archaeologists are working to decipher any meaning from the artifacts and structures, noting that both death and fertility seem to be symbolized at the sites.