Early Upper Palaeolithic Shell beads and shellfish from Manot Cave, Israel

Author(s): Daniella Bar-Yosef Mayer

Year: 2017


The Early Upper Palaeolithic (EUP) cave site of Manot, western Galilee, Israel yielded remains of the Ahmarian and Levantine Aurignacian technocomplexes. The malacofauna assemblages from the two technocomplexes were analyzed (NISP=1180). Dozens of ornamental shells, mostly deriving from the Aurignacian assemblages, include perforated Nassarius gibbosulus, Columbella rustica and Antalis spp. as well as two cowrie beads found in association with human bones. The comparison of the Manot assemblage to the few published Levantine Early Upper Palaeolithic shell assemblages reveals Aurignacian trends characteristic of circum-Mediterranean shell beads. Further research is necessary in order to characterize the Ahmarian shell assemblage. Edible molluscs include Patella caerulea and Phorcus turbinatus from rocky Mediterranean shores and Levantina land snails found as a shell midden. Molluscs were collected from the immediate vicinity of the site and from the nearest Mediterranean shore, about 15 km away. The consumption of shellfish and snails also represent an EUP trend characteristic of the Mediterranean region.

Cite this Record

Early Upper Palaeolithic Shell beads and shellfish from Manot Cave, Israel. Daniella Bar-Yosef Mayer. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431645)


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): 14789