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Flint workshop affiliation: Chronology, technology and site-formation processes at Giv'at Rabbi East, Lower Galilee, Israel
- Yaroshevich, Alla, Shemer, Maayan, Porat, Naomi, Roskin, Joel
- Quaternary International 2017
- Hominidae, bedrock, clay, cortex, fossils, sediments, Israel
- Salvage excavations at the Middle Paleolithic flint workshop Giv'at Rabi East, Lower Galilee, Israel aimed at obtaining chronometric ages for the site's exploitation, reconstructing the process of its formation and collecting an assemblage of diagnostic flint items for testing the conjectured connection with nearby Qafzeh Cave. The excavations revealed two archaeological units, the lower one directly overlaying the calcrete bedrock formation and separated from the upper one by a sterile layer of clay sediments. The sequence of four OSL ages fall within the time-range of the Levantine Middle Paleolithic and correspond to MIS 6 and most of MIS 5. The assemblage of flint artefacts included hundreds of Levallois debitage items alongside bifacial fossiles directeurs of the Lower Paleolithic Acheulian, found mostly in the lower archaeological unit. While parameters reflecting the degree of core exploitation, i.e., size, number of scars and amount of cortex support the hypothesized connection between the workshop and Qafzeh Cave - OSL dates suggest that the beginning of the workshop’s existence predates that cave’s occupation. Moreover, the possibility that the upper archaeological unit in GRE represents re-deposited part of the original accumulation of flint artefacts reduces even more the likelihood of the connection between the workshop and the cave. These results suggest that additional and more remote sites were probably involved in the workshop formation and allow for a variety of scenarios concerning acquisition and management of flint resources during the Middle Paleolithic in the Lower Galilee. Chronometric dates within the sequence of the Middle Paleolithic, the indication of nearly in situ deposition of the lower archaeological unit alongside physical condition of different artefact groups suggest that the bifacial type fossils of the Lower Paleolithic Acheulian may have been recycled by Middle Paleolithic hominids.