The Early-Middle Pleistocene faunal assemblages of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov: Inter-site variability

Rivka Rabinovich*, Rebecca Biton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This study investigates faunal remains from the site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, analyzing how hominins may have utilized vertebrates and exploring paleoenvironments during the Early and Middle Pleistocene. Based on analyses of a range of vertebrates, results show that the species distribution of terrestrial vertebrates (microvertebrates and mammals) at the site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov shows relative stasis above the Matuyama-Brunhes Boundary (MBB) (0.78 Ma). However, consistency in faunal remains at the site reflecting stasis does not seem to reflect accurately the paleoenvironment. Marked changes are demonstrable in the lake-margin sedimentary background, archaeological remains, and agents of accumulation and damage, as well as in the density of medium-large mammals. This study emphasizes the significance of studying assemblages as a whole rather than the species representation on its own.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)357-374
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Special thanks to N. Goren-Inbar who has been the motivating force behind the GBY project through the years, and the organizer of an outstanding scientific workshop. Special thanks also to the colleagues we consulted throughout the project: Shosh Ashkenazi, Boaz Shcham and Yehuda Werner, and to those who contributed to the definition of the fauna: A. Lister, B. Martínez-Navarro and V. Eisenmann. To Itzhak Aizenberg DVM who performed the CT scan, to Sarit Levi who is always ready to help, to Smadar Gabrieli who edited the text and to Prof. Steve Leigh the editor for his help. Thanks are due to the reviewers who recommended valuable changes to the original text. The Israel Science Foundation financed the Center of Excellence for the study of Climate Change in The Upper Jordan Valley Between Ca. 800 Ka and 700 Ka Ago — Its Impact on the Environment and Hominins and its Potential as A Prediction For Future Scenarios (Grant No. 300/06 ).


  • Gesher Benot Ya'aqov
  • Medium-large mammals
  • Microvertebrates
  • Taphonomy


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