A new open-air middle Palaeolithic site at Nesher Ramla, Israel

Yossi Zaidner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes unique formation processes at open-air Middle Palaeolithic site of Nesher Ramla, Israel, and presents results of the preliminary studies of the lithic assemblages of the site. The site is located in the karst depression formed by gravitational deformation and sagging into the underground voids. The depression was used by hominins during the middle part of the Levantine Middle Palaeolithic (OSL dates: 167±11 - 78±6 ka). At the beginning of hominin occupation, the depression was already formed and the site formation was primarily shaped by cycled mechanism of deposition of eroded soils, watterlogging, pedogenesis and human occupation. Such formation mechanism is profoundly different from Levantine Middle Palaeolithic cave' and open-air sites. Lithic technology at Nesher Ramla shows Levantine Mousterian affinities. However, the preliminary evidence suggests that Nesher Ramla lithic assemblage differs from lithic assemblages of both Levantine Mousterian cave and open-air sites. The main differences are in highly standardized tool-kit with intensively retouched side-scrapers and evidence for sidescrapers' resharpening that was not recorded in other Levantine Mousterian sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-44
Number of pages16
JournalStratum Plus
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Stratum plus.


  • Karst depression
  • Levant
  • Levantine Mousterian
  • Middle Palaeolithic
  • Nesher Ramla
  • Site formation processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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