Geological and Pedological Aspects of an Early-Paleolithic Site: Revadim, Central Coastal Plain, Israel

Gdaliahu Gvirtzman, Moshe Wieder, Ofer Marder, Hamudi Khalaily, Rivka Rabinovich, Hagai Ron

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19 Scopus citations

Abstract

An Early Paleolithic site was recently discovered within a sequence of paleosols in the Revadim Quarry, central coastal plain of Israel. The section is composed of three superimposed soils in a continuous sequence, but separated by two unconformity surfaces. The uppermost paleosol is a modern Dark Brown Grumusol (Vertisol), the middle is a Quartzic Gray Brown Soil (Haploxeralf), and the lower is a Red Hamra (Rhodoxeralf). Normal magnetic polarity was detected in the two lower soils, indicating that they are younger than the Brunhes-Matuyama boundary (<780 ka). A human occupation bed, enriched in secondary carbonate nodules, forms the lower part of the Quartzic Gray Brown Soil and overlies the Red Hamra. The living floor is located on top of the unconformity surface, separating the Red Hamra from the overlying Quartzic Gray Brown Soil. Middle to Late Acheulian handaxes, choppers, cores, and flake tools, including tools made by the Levallois technique, and man-laid flint pebbles were excavated in the human occupation bed. In addition, two elephant tusks, an elephant pelvis, an elephant tooth (Palaeoloxodon antiquus), tusk splinters, and bones of equid, suid, cervid, bovid, felid, and rodents were also collected. Based on well-documented nearby boreholes and on regional correlation, it appears that the underlying dune sands, the parent materials from which the Red Hamra developed, were deposited probably during a phase of high-stand sea level of Isotope Stage 9. The Red Hamra developed simultaneously with the human occupation of the site, probably during a phase of low-stand sea-level of Isotope Stage 8, before some 300-245 ka. The overlying dune sands, the parent materials from which the Quartzic Gray Brown Soil developed, were deposited probably during a phase of high-stand sea level of Isotope Stage 7. The climate prevailing in the area during Stage 8, as well as during the human habitation, was moist, with a dense vegetation cover of grassland and probably scattered trees. A small lake of trapped fresh water at a junction of two small tributaries of the Soreq River drainage system near the area occupied was available to hominids and animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-126
Number of pages26
JournalGeoarchaeology - An International Journal
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes

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