Changing the Face of the Earth: Human Behavior at Sede Ilan, an Extensive Lower-Middle Paleolithic Quarry Site in Israel

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Abstract

The Middle Pleistocene flint extraction and reduction complex of Sede Ilan is presented as a model for human behavior related to both raw material economy and landscape perception. The organized, large scale quarrying and flintknapping is dated to the Lower Paleolithic (represented by handaxe manufacture) and the Middle Paleolithic (dominated by the use of the Levallois technique). No evidence of Later Paleolithic or Neolithic-Chalclithic extraction and reduction was found at the Sede Ilan complex. The chapter discusses the following issues: (i) the familiarity of Middle Pleistocene Hominins with the landscape and natural resources; (ii) long-term use of specific flint outcrops and recurrent, large-scale use of designated industrial areas; (iii) the significant alteration of the pristine landscape ; (iv) quarry landscape maintenance; (v) the possibility of traditional ecological knowledge, land-use legacies, and resource management and conservation practiced at the Sede Ilan quarrying complex. Our major conclusion is that the extensive Sede Ilan quarrying landscape reflects the talent of prehistoric man to procure large quantities of flint using a rare combination of knowledge, sophistication, and care.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLithic Materials and Paleolithic Societies
EditorsB Adams, B Bades
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
Pages174-185
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781444311976
ISBN (Print)9781405168373
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 May 2009

Keywords

  • Changing the face of earth
  • Familiarity of Middle Pleistocene Hominins with landscape and natural resources
  • Human behavior at the Sede Ilan industrial area
  • Long-term use of specific flint outcrops and recurrent
  • Middle Pleistocene hominins with the landscape and natural resources
  • Possibility of traditional ecological knowledge, land-use legacies, and resource management
  • Quarry landscape maintenance
  • Significant alteration of pristine landscape

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