A small portion of the Early Levantine Mousterian site of Rosh Ein Mor site was re-excavated in 1996, in order to recover ostrich eggshell for uranium series dating analyses. Flint that appeared to have been heated was recovered from the archive at Southern Methodist University, and tested for its feasibility for thermoluminescence dating. Flint and eggshell were dated and found to give significantly different results. The eggshell yielded a mass spectrometric 230Th/234 U burial age of 200·9+9·5/ - 8·7 ka, while the flint showed a range of last heating ages between 14 and 48 ka. These ages are compared with other age estimates for sites containing similar lithic industries in the region. We conclude that the eggshell age is most likely the minimum age of the time of occupation in which the Early Levantine Mousterian industry was produced, and that the flint heating ages represent either later ephemeral occupations with anthropogenic heating of the flints, or natural fires in which tree roots heated the flints. The results, taken together with other age estimates for the Early Levantine Mousterian in this area, suggest that while in the central Levant we find its earliest appearance between 225 and 300 ka, in southern Israel we find no correspondingly early ages.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank the L. S. B. Leakey Foundation, and W. J. R. thanks the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council for financial support. We also thank the Israel Department of Antiquities for permission to do reexcavation. D. Richter acknowledges the financial support from an H. G. Thode Fellowship at McMaster University. We thank K. Macguire for assistance with sample preparations. We thank N. Mercier and H. Valladas for their collaboration on this project.
- Ostrich eggshell
- Uranium series
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