EP Gallery: Middle Acheulian -- Olorgesailie, Olduvai Gorge, Near East, Abbevillian (c. 1.0 MYA to 500,000 BP) / r)gesher813

Two basalt cleavers from Gesher Benot Ya'aqov. The method of biface flaking at Gesher is the African Kumbewa technique. "The site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov is interpreted to be the archaeological remains of a group of hominids that migrated from Africa." (Bar-Yosef 1998:252-254). The Gesher site is dated to 780,000 BP (Goren-Inbar, N., Feibel, C., Verosub, L., Melamed, Y, Kislev, M., Tchernov, E. and Saragusti, I. [2000]. Pleistocene milestones on the Out-of-Africa Corridor at Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, Israel. Science 289:944-947).

Comment: In the Near East Middle Acheulian, in contrast to the Joub Jannine II, Evron-Quarry, and Latamne biface assemblage in which lanceolate handaxes and picks are the predominate biface types, the Gesher Benot Ya'aqov bifaces are typically handaxes and cleavers. This accords with the Kumbewa technique of flaking, since both the typical biface pairing and knapping technique belong to an African tradition.

Image Credit: Goren-Inbar, N, Belitzky, S. Goren, Y, Rabinovich, R and Saragusti, I. (1992). Gesher Benot Ya'aqov -- the 'Bar": an acheulian assemblage? Geoarchaeology 7,1:27-40. Image from Bar-Yosef, O. (1998). Early colonizations and cultural continuities in the Lower Palaeolithic of western Asia. In Early human behaviour in global context: The rise and diversity ofthe Lower Palaeolithic record, Petraglia, M and Korisettar, R. (eds.), 221-279. New York: Routledge: fig 8.13.

Previous Home Next