A new look at camp organization in open-air Late Pleistocene sites in the southern Levant

Author(s): Dani Nadel; Reuven Yeshurun

Year: 2017


A wealth of Late Pleistocene - Early Holocene open-air camp-sites is recorded around the world. However, in sites pre-dating the use of stone for construction, central features such as huts and their floors are rarely preserved. Thus, the documentation of site structure and the identification of past activity areas are limited to hearths (when preserved) and their environs, and to distribution patterns of cultural remains.

The focus of this paper are selected sites from the Mediterranean Levant, analyzed on two levels, namely, the camp level (general size and layout) and the feature level (type, size and contents of floors, hearths, etc.). The case studies used here include Ohalo II (ca. 23 ka, no stone construction), Neve David (ca. 16 ka, some stone construction), and el-Wad terrace (ca. 15-13 ka, intensive stone construction).

The analysis results illuminate some changes through time, with certain innovations in each period. By ethnographic analogy, we suggest that the observed changes show local continuity on the one hand and increasing cultural complexity with reduced nomadism on the other. Thus, our results provide new insights into the cultural process leading to the establishment of permanent settlements and later to the formation of the first Neolithic villages.

Cite this Record

A new look at camp organization in open-air Late Pleistocene sites in the southern Levant. Dani Nadel, Reuven Yeshurun. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430053)


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): 14452