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Regional variability in late Lower Paleolithic Amudian blade technology: Analyzing new data from Qesem, Tabun and Yabrud I

Shimelmitz, Ron, Barkai, Ran, Gopher, Avi
Quaternary international 2016 v.398 pp. 37-60
blades, industry, nerve agents, production technology
The Acheulo–Yabrudian Cultural Complex (AYCC) of the late Lower Paleolithic Levant consists of three major industries, one of which is the blade-dominated Amudian. This paper provides an in-depth comparison of the Amudian blade industry from three major AYCC sites in the Levant – Qesem Cave, Tabun Cave and Yabrud Rockshelter I. The results demonstrate high inter-site similarity in Amudian blade technology and in product (blades) characteristics – i.e., a regional, clearly defined Amudian blade production technology. Nevertheless, differences in particular technological choices along the reduction sequences of blade production between the sites represent minute sub-regional technological variability within the Amudian. The evidence presented in this paper, together with many other innovative behavioral patterns seen in the AYCC, especially as reflected at Qesem Cave, may mark the end of a Lower Paleolithic Acheulian way of life that lasted over a million years in the Levant, and the beginning of a new era.