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2022-12-21 10:13:47   •   ID: 2362

The Acheulen at Menashe Hills: Do not forget the debitage....

Acheulean Scarper
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 1 shows a small and thick flake tool with almost continuous retouche, 3-5 cm in diameter. At several scattered sites in the Menashe Hills near the Mt. Carmel in Israel such tools were made from discoid cores, shown in Figure 3. A non-worked blank of this Chaîne opératoire is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 4: Interestingly Cores for the production of small short blades were also found in the Menashe area, already introduced by the description of Handaxes earlier in the Blog - see here: 1460 . The early appearance of Blades is not surprising in the Levant and for example a regular component of the Amudian / Acheulo-Yabrudian (400-250 k.a.).

It is suggested that the Early Paleolithic workshops at Menashe represent a variant of the late regional Acheulean / Acheulian in the Carmel region.

The Menashe Material has similarities with the nearby multi-layered Lower Paleolithic Acheulian site of Revadim Quarry, which was excavated to a large extent (~250 m2) and yielded a wealth of lithic and faunal remains.

Revadim, dated to c. 400 k.a. is both a testimony of complex exploitation of proboscideans (Rabinovich et al. 2012) and and the differentiated use and recycling of small flakes (Agam 2016).

The lithics at Revadim included several handaxes, but were mostly dominated by mainly non-Levallois flake tools.

Small and medium sized Flakes at Revadim were made either by detachment from (recycled) handaxes or from cores (Barkai and Marder 2010).

Figure 4
As stated earlier, in a broader context the Acheulian may be defined as the competence by its makers in the mastery and use of three-dimensional (handaxe and core) volumes.

An important mental threshold was the production of prepared core technology, which is linked with some degree of predetermination, recurrence and learning-teaching processes, initiated either by gestures or verbally.

„To a certain extent, prepared core technology reflects a cognitive shift in core volume management and flake production due to some degree of predetermination. It is especially  true when considering some raw materials such as vein quartz which are usually harder to  control for knappers“ (Mesfin and Texier 2023 in Review).

Suggested X-mas song:

The Bill Evans Trio is playing Nardis on:

A highly complex delight - just listen to the crystal clear interplay between Evans and his fellow players- For Christmas I would have only one wish: the trio in my living room....