The Stone, the Deer, and the Mountain: Lower Paleolithic Scrapers and Early Human Perceptions of the Cosmos

Vlad Litov*, Ran Barkai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Evidence from the Levantine Late Lower Paleolithic sites of Jaljulia and Qesem Cave suggests that Quina scrapers, an innovation in a category of tools used mostly for butchery, emerged with changes in hunting practices. Quina scrapers were often made of non-local flint from the Samarian highlands, a home range of fallow deer populations throughout the ages. The predominance of fallow deer in the human diet following the disappearance of megafauna made scrapers key tools in human subsistence. Particular stone tools and particular prey animals, thus, became embedded in an array of practical, cosmological, and ontological conceptions whose origin we trace back to Paleolithic times. The mountains of Samaria, a source of both animals and stone under discussion, were part of this nexus. We present archaeological and ethnographic evidence of the practical and perceptual bonds between Paleolithic humans, animals, stones, and the landscape they shared.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-146
Number of pages41
JournalArchaeologies
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Funding

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation321/19
Israel Science Foundation

    Keywords

    • AYCC
    • Acheulian subsistence
    • Human–animal relationship
    • Human–stone interaction
    • Late Acheulian
    • Paleolithic scrapers

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