Qesem cave is a Middle Pleistocene site located close to Tel Aviv, Israel, assigned to the Acheuleo-Yabrudian Cultural Complex (AYCC) of the Lower Palaeolithic. The site provides rich assemblages of knapped flint, animal remains and some human teeth making it of particular interest. Its location in the Levantine corridor confers a major interest to the understanding of human dynamics during the Middle Pleistocene. A series of 6 herbivorous teeth from the base of the 11 m archaeological sequence of AYCC Qesem Cave was analysed by combined ESR/U-series method; this complements previous dating series carried out on teeth and on heated flints on higher parts of the sequence (Mercier et al., 2013; Falguères et al., 2016) The teeth were measured according a regular protocol for which each tissue was analysed by inductively coupled plasma-quadrupole mass spectrometry (ICP-Q-MS) for U-series using a combination of a Thermo iCAP-RQ mass spectrometer coupled to a Cetac Aridus III desolvator system, and ESR analyses were implemented on enamel tissue. All these data were combined in order to yield modelled ages. The goal was to find out whether there was a time gap between the carbonates layers dated to 420 ka (Gopher et al., 2010) and archaeological layers of the AYCC found throughout the cave's sequence. The new results yield ages ranging between 220 and 430 ka confirming a great antiquity and a long duration of AYCC in the Levant.
- Middle Pleistocene