The recycling of flint throughout the lower and middle paleolithic sequence of tabun cave, Israel

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Tabun Cave provides an opportunity to examine transformations in the methods and intensity at which hominins recycled flint items along a sequence of ca. 500ky from the Lower Paleolithic to the Middle Paleolithic periods. The studied sequence is composed of results from Jelinek's excavations and Ronen's excavations which sampled different parts of the stratigraphic section of Tabun Cave, together covering 16m depth of superimposed archaeological layers. The recycling of flint is examined using three aspects: (1) the presence of patinated items, (2) the phenomenon of 'handaxes with a preferential flake scar' along with other aspects indicating the recycling of handaxes as cores, and (3) the presence of items which are both cores-on-flakes and tools, indicating a complex life-history. The changes in their frequencies and characteristics along the sequence are presented through a study of 20 assemblages spanning from the Acheulean, Lower Paleolithic to the early Middle Paleolithic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-45
Number of pages12
JournalQuaternary International
StatePublished - 10 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The material from Tabun Cave is currently being studied through a combined effort by Steven, L. Kuhn, Arthur Jelinek, Avraham Ronen and Mina Weinstein-Evron; to all of which I thank for their support on this paper. The study was supported by the Irene Levi Sala Care Archaeological Foundation and by a post doctoral research grant from the University of Haifa . I would also like to thank Ran Barkai, Cristina Lemorini and Manuel Vaquero for the organization of 'The Origins of Recycling: A Paleolithic Perspective ' workshop in Tel Aviv, 2013. The workshop was kindly supported by the Israel Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


  • Lithic technology
  • Lower paleolithic
  • Recycling
  • Tabun cave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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