2018-10-18 12:28:38 • ID: 2034
The Early Paleolithic of Lebanon: A Marginal Matter?
This is a thick, patinated Handaxe from Habboûch (Arabic: حبّوش) in southern Lebanon, situated in the foothills Mount Lebanon ca. 20 km S/E of Sidon. The artifact was once part of Mlle. Germaine Henri-Martins collection, who made excavations with D:A:E Garrod during the late 1950ies in the Country.
For the Levant G. Sharon proposed a three stage model for theAcheulean: The first stage is represented by the the ∼ 1.5 Ma site of ‘Ubeidiya. The ensemble is characterized by elongated handaxes, often trihedral and picks, chopping tools, and spheroids.
The second distinct stage is a Large Flake Acheulian, represented by the Gesher Benot Ya'aqov (GBY), dated to ca 800 k.a. BP. The ensemble is based on the use of large basalt flakes as blanks for the production of handaxes and cleavers, unique in the Near East.
Later ensembles from ca 500-300 k.a. are much more common and have allready discussed -see here 1171 .
If the model derived from the Israeli data can be extended to the Lebanese corridor, can not be answered-simply because a lack of data.
Lorraine Copeland and Peter J. Wescombe during the 1960ies published an Inventory of Stone Age sites in Lebanon .Their number of sites, attributed to the Lower Paleolithic, increased during the last years from 37 to the modest number of a total of 46 sites, reported by S. El Zaatari in 2018.
One important Acheulian site is Joub Jannine II on the right bank of the Litani river, detected in 1967 and first described by Father Fleisch in 1960. More than 100 handaxes were found, mainly trihedrals and lanceolated items, offen with a rostrocarinated end. Most bifaces are made by hard hammer, a few indicate occasional soft hammer. The archaeological horizon is not dated but resemble early Paleolithic sites in Israel.
Beside this site, the Acheulean is known selectively from surface, not only from the costal plain, but also from the foothills of Mount Lebanon and Antilebanon and the Bekaa valley. These are single find-spots or small scatters with no contextual information. A minority of sites is handaxe free ("Tayacien").
The Acheulo -Yabrudian (at Adloun and Masloukh) has already described elsewhere in the blog.
Surf the Blog: see here 1171 , here 1602 , and here 1423 .
Enzel, Yehouda and Bar-Yosef, Ofer; Enzel, Yehouda; Bar-Yosef, Ofer. Quaternary of the Levant: Environments, Climate Change, and Humans. Cambridge University Press; 2017.