The transition from the Lower to the Middle Paleolithic in the Levant is a crucial event in human evolution, since it may involve the arrival of a new human population. In the current study, we present thermoluminescence (TL) dates obtained from 32 burnt flints retrieved from the late Lower Paleolithic (Acheulo-Yabrudian) and Early Middle Paleolithic (Mousterian) layers of Misliya Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel. Early Middle Paleolithic industries rich in Levallois and laminar products were assigned mean ages ranging from ~250 to ~160ka (thousands of years ago), suggesting a production of this industry during MIS 7 and the early part of MIS 6. The mean ages obtained for the samples associated with the Acheulo-Yabrudian (strengthened by an isochron analysis) indicate a production of this cultural complex ~250ka ago, at the end of MIS 8. According to the Misliya TL dates, the transition from the Lower to the Middle Paleolithic in the site took place at the limit MIS 8/7 or during the early part of MIS 7. The dates, together with the pronounced differences in lithic technology strongly suggest the arrival of a new population during this period.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors are grateful to CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – France) and CEA (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives – France) for supporting the analytical work. The Misliya Cave project is supported by the Dan David Foundation , the Irene Levi-Sala Care Archaeological Foundation , the Leakey Foundation and the Faculty of Humanities – the University of Haifa . Israel Antiquities Authority permit numbers for the Misliya Cave excavations: G-16/2001, G-39/2002, G-14/2003, G-29/2004, G-12/2005, G-12/2006, G-4/2007, G-54/2008, G-52/2009, G-50/2010. Figures were drawn by Anat Regev-Gisis. The Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 1104/12 ). LSCE reference: 5003.
- Early Middle Paleolithic
- Human migration
- Middle East
- Thermoluminescence (TL) dating