Dating the Lower to Middle Paleolithic transition in the Levant: A view from Misliya Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel

Hélène Valladas, Norbert Mercier, Israel Hershkovitz, Yossi Zaidner, Alexander Tsatskin, Reuven Yeshurun, Laurence Vialettes, Jean Louis Joron, Jean Louis Reyss, Mina Weinstein-Evron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The transition from the Lower to the Middle Paleolithic in the Levant is a crucial event in human evolution, since it may involve the arrival of a new human population. In the current study, we present thermoluminescence (TL) dates obtained from 32 burnt flints retrieved from the late Lower Paleolithic (Acheulo-Yabrudian) and Early Middle Paleolithic (Mousterian) layers of Misliya Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel. Early Middle Paleolithic industries rich in Levallois and laminar products were assigned mean ages ranging from ~250 to ~160ka (thousands of years ago), suggesting a production of this industry during MIS 7 and the early part of MIS 6. The mean ages obtained for the samples associated with the Acheulo-Yabrudian (strengthened by an isochron analysis) indicate a production of this cultural complex ~250ka ago, at the end of MIS 8. According to the Misliya TL dates, the transition from the Lower to the Middle Paleolithic in the site took place at the limit MIS 8/7 or during the early part of MIS 7. The dates, together with the pronounced differences in lithic technology strongly suggest the arrival of a new population during this period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-593
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Volume65
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Early Middle Paleolithic
  • Human migration
  • Middle East
  • Thermoluminescence (TL) dating

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