New Evidence for the Northern Dead Sea Rift Acheulian.

Gonen Sharon, Craig Feibel, Nira Alperson-Afil, Yehudit Harlavan, Gilbert Feraud, Shoshana Ashkenazi, Rivka Rabinovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new Acheulian locality, NBA (North of Bridge Acheulian), was discovered north of the well-known Early-Middle Pleistocene site of Gesher Benot Yaaqov (GBY) as a result of a massive drainage operation of the Jordan River in 1999. A preliminary test excavation enabled reconstruction of the stratigraphy of the site’s layers. The Ar/Ar date of 658±15 ka was determined for a basalt flow located immediately below the NBA in situ archaeological horizon, and is one of the few known dates for any Acheulian site in the Levant. The site’s rich surface collection includes a lithic assemblage resembling that of the nearby GBY Acheulian site and is dominated by basalt handaxes and cleavers. However, the assemblage has some marked differences from that of GBY, enlarging our understanding of Levantine Acheulian variability. The NBA fauna resembles that of GBY in the species represented and in its molluscs. The main contribution of the NBA assemblage comes from the confirmation of certain aspects of the GBY lithic industry and from the few but marked differences that do appear between the assemblages. These differences deepen our knowledge of the behavior and ways of life of Acheulian hominins on the shores of the Paleo-Hula Lake during the Early Middle Pleistocene.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)79-99
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2010


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