Extensive Paleolithic Flint Extraction and Reduction Complexes in the Nahal Dishon Central Basin, Upper Galilee, Israel

Meir Finkel*, Avi Gopher, Ran Barkai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recently found open-air flint extraction and workshop sites in the Eastern Galilee, Israel, are the focus of this paper. Lithic assemblages from among a few of the thousands of tailing piles documented in a field survey, indicate mostly late Lower Palaeolithic/Middle Palaeolithic and rarely Neolithic/Chalcolithic affinities. These discoveries substantially increase our knowledge of the scope of lithic extraction and reduction in northern Israel in these periods. The new sites are located on a 25 km2 outcrop of flint-bearing Eocene limestone indicating intensive extraction of large amounts of flint, possibly beyond immediate local consumption requirements. After describing the new sites, we discuss their relation to nearby Middle and Lower Palaeolithic sites; possible resource management scenarios; chronology and duration of the extraction and reduction activity; and the sites as possible landmarks. A key question is the extent of the flint distribution area, or, more precisely, whether this region was a dominant mega-quarry for northern Israel and/or Southern Lebanon in the periods discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-266
Number of pages50
JournalJournal of World Prehistory
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

Keywords

  • Acheulean/Mousterian
  • Flint extraction
  • Galilee
  • Israel
  • Palaeolithic
  • Quarry sites

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