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The Levantine Aurignacian: A view from Manot Cave, Western Galilee, Israel
Ofer Marder  1, 2, *@  , Talia Abulafia  2@  , Daniella Bar-Yosef Mayer  3, 4, 5@  , Francesco Berna  6@  , Elisabetta Boaretto  7@  , Valentina Caracuta  8@  , Lauren Davis  2@  , Mae Goder-Goldberger  2@  , Israel Herskovitz  3, 9, 10@  , Ron Lavi  11@  , Mayan Shemer  12@  , José-Miguel Tejero  13, 14, *@  , Reuven Yeshurun  15@  , Omry Barzilai  16, 17, *@  
1 : Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
2 : Department of Bible, Archaeology and the Ancient Near East, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, PO Box 653, Beer-Sheva 8410501, Israel
3 : The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv University, PO Box 39040, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
4 : 3Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, PO Box 39040, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
5 : Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, CambridgeMA02138, U.S.A
6 : Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
7 : Max Planck-Weizmann Center for Integrative Archaeology and Anthropology, DANGOOR Research Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 7610001, Israel
8 : Laboratory of Archaeobotany and Palaeoecology, University of Salento, Lecce 73100, Italy
9 : Department of Anatomy and Anthropology, Sackler Faculty of medicine
10 : The Dan David Center for Human Evolution and Biohistory Research, Sackler Faculty of Medicine
11 : 8 Dan Street, Modi'in 7173161, Israel
12 : Archaeological Research Department, Israel Antiquities Authority, POB 586, Jerusalem 91004, Israel
13 : Centre National de la Recherche Cientifique, UMR 7401 - ArScAn - Equipe Ethnologie préhistorique  (CNRS)  -  Site web
Université Paris Nanterre
Maison René Ginouvès UMR 7041 21 allée de l'université F 92023 NANTERRE cedex -  France
14 : Seminari d'Estudis I Recerques Prehistòriques, Universitat de Barcelona, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
15 : University of Haifa [Haifa]  (HAI)  -  Site web
199 Aba Khoushy Ave.Mount Carmel, Haifa -  Israël
16 : Israel Antiquities Authority
17 : Weizmann-Max Planck Centre for Integrative Archaeology and Anthropology
* : Auteur correspondant

The Upper Paleolithic period marks the establishment of modern humans and their colonization of Eurasia. In the Levant, the Upper Paleolithic is divided into three chronological phases (Initial, Early and Late), each containing several cultural entities. The Aurignacian have long been considered the main entity in the Early Upper Paleolithic (EUP) of Europe. In the Levant, however, data on the Levantine Aurignacian is limited because sites containing well-described assemblages are few, in most cases representing restricted occupations. Techno-typological differences within and between assemblages are poorly defined and so is the chronological time span.

Eight excavation seasons (2010-2017) at Manot Cave, western Galilee, Israel, have revealed an impressive EUP sequence, ca. 2 m thick. The site presents remarkable preservation of cultural remains, containing rich flint and faunal assemblages, ash and charcoal remains, bone and antler tools, personal ornaments and mollusc shells. Thus far ten archaeological layers (Area E Layers I-X and Area I Layer 1-5) were attributed to the Aurignacian sensu lato. Preliminary analyses and field observations indicated diachronic and synchronic variation in the lithic assemblage, combustion feature morphology and archaeological material density which enables dividing the Aurignacian sensu lato into at least two discrete phases. In this report, we will present the data accumulated on the Aurignacian of Manot and try to place it in a border context of the Levantine Aurignacian as well as in the framework of the European Aurignacian.


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