The Acheulo-Yabrudian – Early Middle Paleolithic Sequence of Misliya Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel


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Human Paleontology and Prehistory


Misliya Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel was occupied between 250 and 160 ka. During this time the site was inhabited by bearers of the Acheulo-Yabrudian and Early Middle Paleolithic (Mousterian ) techno-complexes. The Acheulo-Yabrudian industry is characterized by production of thick and wide flakes and shows no evidence of laminar or Levallois methods. The varied assemblage encompasses true bifaces, artifacts fully worked on one face and only partially on the other, unifaces and scrapers. All these morphological groups were produced using the same flaking and retouching modes. The emergence of the Early Middle Paleolithic is manifested by a technological break, marked by the disappearance of bifaces and thick-flake production technology and the introduction of blade manufacture using laminar and Levallois production methods, and Levallois points and triangular flakes. The mean TL ages of the Acheulo-Yabrudian assemblage indicate production of this cultural complex 257 ± 28 ka – 247 ± 24 ka. The mean TL ages of the Early Middle Paleolithic industries range from 212 ± 27 to 166 ± 23 ka. The pronounced differences in lithic technology together with TL chronology indicate that the transition from the Lower to the Middle Paleolithic in the Levant was rapid and may imply the arrival of a new population around 250 ka.

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