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Rethinking Emireh Cave (Eastern Galilee, Israel)
Natalia Gubenko  1, *@  , Omry Barzilai@
1 : Israel Antiquities Authority  (IAA)  -  Website
P.O.B. 586, Jerusalem 91004 Israel -  Israël
* : Corresponding author

The Emiran is the earliest technocomplex within the Levantine Upper Palaeolithic sequence. The Emiran industry was defined by Dorothy Garrod (1951) and named for the type assemblage excavated at Emireh cave by F. Turville-Petre (1927). Garrod's definition for the Emiran industry was based on biased lithic assemblages from el-Wad and Emireh caves including both MP and UP diagnostic features such as classic Levallois blanks, typical UP tools made on narrow blade blanks, and Emireh points. The term Emiran was further accepted by many researches for a transitional industry corresponding to the earliest phase of the Upper Paleolithic of the south Levant and was incorporated into a broader definition known as the Initial Upper Palaeolithic (IUP) that is commonly used as a proxy for identifying human migrations during the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic interphase.

The question whether the Emireh assemblage is homogenous or mixed has been raised several times in research. In this study, we reanalyzed the same lithic assemblage from Emireh Cave that was published by Garrod in 1955. Our technological study shows the assemblage contains at least three distinctive knapping methods: Levallois, broad-base blades (non-Levallois), and narrow-base blade/lets. We suggest the assemblage indeed contains an Emiran component, including Emireh points, but it also bears Mousterian, Ahmarian and Aurignacian components. Thus, the Emireh cave lithic assemblage is assorted.

We propose that Emireh Cave is a typical southern Levantine cave with Paleolithic sequence in which Emiran and other industries are included in the same layer is likely to be the case in other southern Levantine sites where Emireh points were noted (i.e. el-Wad, Kebara, Qafzeh). It is suggested that these sites, although they include some transitional (Emiran) components, are mixed with Mousterian and Upper Paleolithic components and that the mixture is due to the ephemeral nature of the Emiran occupation at these sites.

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