The Upper Paleolithic period in the Levant

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The classic Upper Paleolithic sequence in the Levant was based on a series of stratified assemblages with culture-specific type fossils. Research in the last two decades has revealed numerous assemblages that cannot be accommodated within the classic sequence. The recently discovered assemblages are now regarded as representing two large entities that differ in both technology and typology. The locally developed Ahmarian is dominated by blades and bladelets, while the Levantine Aurignacian (probably an intrusive from the north) is dominated by flakes and by endscrapers or burins. The nature and contents of the sites suggest that Levantine Upper Paleolithic people were organized as small bands of mobile foragers, whose important resources were ungulate meat and plant foods. This subsistence economy and the associated settlement patterns lasted till about 13,000 B.P. and was succeeded by the Natufian culture with an entirely new socioeconomic organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-154
Number of pages50
JournalJournal of World Prehistory
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 1991


  • Ahmarian
  • Levantine Aurignacian
  • Upper Paleolithic
  • core areas
  • foragers
  • marginal areas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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