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2016-06-16 03:12:30   •   ID: 1361

Dead End Street:?—The Levallois-Mousterian of the Carmel region

Figure 1
These are some artifacts from the "Mousterian" layers of Kebara.

The Middle Paleolithic findings of this site are the only “Tabun-B Ensembles” in Israel, that has been excavated with modern methods. The site therfore can be considered as the reference stratigraphy for the late “Levallois Mousterian” of the Camel region at 60-40 k.a. BP.

Kebara is part of the Levantine corridor, a possible route for emigrating Homo Sapiens from its African origins.

Until recently the Levantine corridor was suggested to a dead end street for early Homo Sapiens emigration and the specimens of Sapiens found in the Levant were qualified as losers -unable to get out of there in to Asia and Europe - I never understood this view.

Homo Sapiens had potentially two routes to emigrate from Africa to other parts of the old world:

- The narrow crossing between Yemen and Djibouti, called the Bab al- Mandeb Strait (the “Arabian corridor”) may have been a southern route of Homo Sapiens emigration from Africa during late MIS6/ Early MIS5.

Lithic Industries resembling the East African MSA or the Nubian Complex of the upper Nile valley have found in Arabia.

In early mtDNA phylogeographic studies, the virtual absence of mtDNA haplogroup M in the Levant, and its presence in Ethiopia, southern Arabia, the Indian subcontinent and East Asia, rendered M the first genetic indicator of a southern-route exit from eastern Africa.

Recently an intermediate phalanx was found at the Arabian desert site of Al Wusta, dated to 85 k.a. together with a Middle paleolithic / MSA industry. It is the earliest Homo Sapiens found outside Africa and the Levant. Anyhow, it remains unclear if this bone indicate a successful migration via the Southern route or are related to the Levantine corridor, 600 km away from the site.

- the “Levantine corridor”, easiest in term of crossing, as it would not require the use of watercraft to cross the red sea.

Remains of Homo sapiens in the Levant were found at Misliya Cave: 177 k.a., Skhul and Qafzeh: 90-100 k.a. and Manot Cave c 50 k.a. The Levantine corridor route can also substantiated by Paleogenetic mtDNA data. Even more: Carriers of mtDNA haplogroup L3 migrated back to Africa from Asia around 70 k.a. (Cabrera et al.2018).

On the other side, archaeological data of the Levantine corridor show no convincing evidence for Homo Sapiens migration from the Nil-valley to the Levant. In contrast, the Levant and the Nil Valley and East Africa show very different archaeological signatures.

Dead end street  (The Kings 1964):

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