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Oldowan or Pebble-Flake Industry? Levantine Mousterian or Levantine Middle Paleolithic?

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Abstract

The emergence of Levallois technique and the origin of the Levantine Middle Paleolithic, addressed in my previous publication, are revisited. In the fi nal Acheulean of the Levant, the Acheulo-Yabrudian industry emerged and the blade technology was invented. On that base, the Levantine Middle Paleolithic originated. The terms “Oldowan industry” and “Levantine Mousterian” should be abandoned. The Oldowan industry was associated with Homo habilis, who had never migrated outside Africa. Because early Middle Paleolithic industries originated from the Acheulo-Yabrudian industry of the Levant, they should be referred to as Middle Paleolithic rather than Mousterian. The Mousterian was associated with H. neanderthalensis, whereas the industries of territories where Neanderthals had not migrated should be referred to as Middle Paleolithic. Neanderthal migrations resulted in the emergence of Mousteroid industries in Eastern Europe, Caucasus, Crimea, southern Siberia, etc. In Africa, a new taxon Homo heidelbergensis (H. rhodesiensis) originated ca 800 ka BP. Eventually, those humans migrated to the Near East, as evidenced by the Gesher Benot Ya’aqov site. Throughout the Middle Pleistocene, Near Eastern, primarily Levantine populations were involved in the sapienization process. By the early Upper Pleistocene, two sister taxa had apparently originated there: anatomically modern humans (Skhul, Qafzeh) and Palestinian Neanderthals (Tabun, Amud, Kebara). There was no radical change in Acheulean or Middle Paleolithic industries in the Levant that might suggest immigration from Africa or the adjacent territories of Eurasia. Anatomically modern humans associated with the Nubian Levallois industry migrated from Africa to Arabia ca 110 ka ago. They may have had short-term contacts with Levantine Middle Paleolithic populations, but archaeological evidence of acculturation is lacking.

About the Author

A. P. Derevianko
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Russian Federation


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For citation:


Derevianko A.P. Oldowan or Pebble-Flake Industry? Levantine Mousterian or Levantine Middle Paleolithic? Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2016;44(2):3-18. (In Russ.)

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