Rediscovering Geula Cave: A Middle Paleolithic cave site in northern Mt. Carmel, Israel

Omry Barzilai, Talia Abulafia, Maayan Shemer, Hila May, Meir Orbach, Amos Frumkin, Reuven Yeshurun, Rachel Sarig, Naomi Porat, Israel Hershkovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper focuses on new findings from Middle Paleolithic Geula Cave, Israel, located in the northern part of Mt. Carmel. The cave, consists of several small chambers that are remnants of a larger cave system, initially excavated between 1958 and 1964. The occupation at the cave was ascribed to Middle Paleolithic modern humans. In 2016, a salvage excavation was conducted in areas of the cave that were not previously explored. Analyses of the new excavation revealed a consistency in lithic technology throughout the new excavation areas, with an emphasis on Levallois production using mainly bidirectional and centripetal core preparation modes. The faunal study identified intensive hyena and porcupine activities in small chambers, probably at the back part of the cave, while fractured bones in association with flint artifacts were found at what appears as the living area in the cave. Luminescence ages indicated that Geula Cave was occupied as early as 175 ka, but that the major occupation was from 120 to 100 ka. The major occupation at Geula chronologically overlaps with the Skhul and Qafzeh Caves thus reinforcing the notion that Homo sapiens dominated the southern Levant during early MIS 5. This study demonstrates the importance of reinvestigating and reevaluating past excavated prehistoric sites and their contents to enhance our understanding of the regional, cultural and biological history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-197
Number of pages17
JournalQuaternary International
StatePublished - 30 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA


  • Early Homo sapiens
  • Geula cave
  • Levallois technology
  • Luminescence dating
  • Middle paleolithic
  • Mt. carmel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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