The technology and significance of the Acheulian giant cores of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, Israel

Naama Goren-Inbar*, Leore Grosman, Gonen Sharon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The presence of very large lithic artifacts at the Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov is one of the site's most distinctive and enlightening features. Basalt giant cores and their products, modified by a variety of core methods and found in association with different hominin activities, occur throughout the stratigraphic sequence of the site.In this paper we describe the giant artifacts of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov together with their reduction sequence, from the nature and acquisition of the raw material, through the shaping of the cores, to the discarded cores and their typical waste products. We then discuss the significance of these finds and their implications for understanding the site and its varied activities, as well as for Acheulian cognitive abilities and behavior during the early Middle Pleistocene on the margins of the paleo-Lake Hula.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1901-1917
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was carried out with the support of an ongoing grant awarded by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 300/06 ) to the Center of Excellence Project Title: “The Effect of Climate Change on the Environment and Hominins of the Upper Jordan Valley between ca. 800Ka and 700Ka ago as a Basis for Prediction of Future Scenarios”. The authors wish to thank the Israel Science Foundation and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We thank Yaron Hazan for the production of Figs. 5, 11, and 15 , Gabi Laron for the photographs of Fig. 1 (a–c), Paolo Gionti for the drawing in Fig. 17 , and Noah Lichtinger for improving the digitized graphics. The three anonymous reviewers are thanked for their important comments and suggestions. Sue Gorodetsky edited the manuscript with her usual professionalism and dedication.


  • Acheulian
  • Basalt
  • Gesher Benot Ya'aqov
  • Giant cores
  • Reduction sequence
  • Technology


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