Hominid-carnivore interactions in the Paleolithic site of Qafzeh cave, Israel

Rivka Rabinovich*, Ofer Bar-Yosef, Bernard Vandermeersch, Liora Kolska Horwitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Evidence for carnivore activity, as expressed in the taphonomy of faunal remains recovered from the Middle (MP) and Upper Paleolithic (UP) periods at Qafzeh Cave, Israel is presented here. Results indicate that the Upper Paleolithic levels of the site are associated with ephemeral human occupation, probably associated with intensive hyaena denning. The MP levels are characterised by hominid occupation, although there is some evidence for carnivore activity in all strata. Comparison with published data for the MP and UP levels from the nearby site of Kebara Cave on Mount Carmel, indicates a similar intensification of carnivore activities in the UP Since hyaena breed year-round, it is suggested that the occupation of Levantine caves in the Paleolithic may have been contingent upon the seasonal scheduling of cave-use by hominids which fluctuated over time.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)627-637
Number of pages11
JournalRevue de Paleobiologie
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004


  • Carnivores
  • Hyaenas
  • Levant
  • Middle and Upper Paleolithic
  • Qafzeh Cave
  • Taphonomy


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