Tool wielding and activities at the Middle Paleolithic site of Nesher Ramla, Israel: A use-wear analysis of major tool types from unit III

Iris Groman-Yaroslavski, Marion Prévost, Yossi Zaidner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper communicates the results of a detailed use-wear analysis of flint tools from Unit III of Nesher Ramla, central Israel, an open-air Middle Paleolithic site, dated to Marine Isotope Stage 5. The analyzed sample consists of 966 artifacts that represent major techno-typological categories; scrapers, tools with a lateral tranchet blow, naturally backed knives and other Middle Paleolithic artifact types. Most tools were associated with bone working activities, mainly scraping and cutting, suggesting both consumption and non-consumption-related practices. Results also suggest extensive butchering activities, but other applications are less common, especially the underrepresentation of armature, and plant and hide working is noteworthy. All in all, these patterns suggest a narrow range of activities. Most tools were used by their sharp edge, while the retouched edges bore weak use-related patterns. It is assumed that in some cases, the retouch served to facilitate the grip. The most widely used tools in Nesher Ramla were the naturally backed knives that according to technological studies were one of the goals of knapping at Nesher Ramla. Tools with a lateral tranchet blow, representing a cultural marker of the Nesher Ramla inhabitants, show evidence of multiple use of both retouched and non-retouched edges shaped by the lateral blow. Hafting traces are relatively rare in the analyzed sample.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-79
Number of pages13
JournalQuaternary International
Volume624
DOIs
StatePublished - 30 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research in Nesher Ramla site was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant number 1773/15 to Y.Z.). The excavations at Nesher Ramla were conducted by Y.Z. on behalf of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology, the University of Haifa.

Funding Information:
This research in Nesher Ramla site was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant number 1773/15 to Y.Z.). The excavations at Nesher Ramla were conducted by Y.Z. on behalf of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology, the University of Haifa.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA

Keywords

  • Bone working
  • Middle paleolithic
  • Naturally backed knives
  • The Levant
  • Use-wear analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes

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