Knapping flint on a brush hut floor: An example from Ohalo II, a 23000 year-old camp in Israel

Author(s): Dan Malkinson; Daniel Kaufman; Dani Nadel

Year: 2017


Thousands of open-air camp sites dating to the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene have been recorded around the world. However, most suffer from significant preservation issues which limit available data on two levels: the general camp structure, and the details of each feature. The excellent preservation of the submerged site of Ohalo II (23,000 cal BP) provides an opportunity to analyze such a site on both levels.

The focus of the paper is a flint assemblage (n=5,621) from a fully-excavated brush hut floor serving as a case study for characterization and analysis of flint knapping activity. The assemblage was fully studied for all its components and the results were mapped and statistically analyzed for correlations between components. Furthermore, 62 flint specimens were refitted (including cores, debitage and tools). Two in-situ and spatially distinct knapping/activity areas were identified, one of which was devoted to manufacture and/or retooling and/or storage of microliths. Similar remains show that the same activities took place in other brush huts. Each floor was also rich with butchered animal bones, fish remains and edible cereal grains. We conclude that each brush-hut appears to represent a household unit which included "in-doors" tool preparation, maintenance and maybe even discard.

Cite this Record

Knapping flint on a brush hut floor: An example from Ohalo II, a 23000 year-old camp in Israel. Dan Malkinson, Daniel Kaufman, Dani Nadel. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430050)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14952