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The ice-age landscape around Manot Cave (Israel) during the Upper and Middle Palaeolithic: new insights from the anthracological record and carbon isotopes analyses

Author(s): Valentina Caracuta ; Bridget Alex ; Lior Regev ; Eugenia Mintz ; Elisabetta Boaretto

Year: 2017

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Summary

Since 2012, a series of investigations in Manot Cave recovered charcoal samples from archaeological layers in order to study the landscape around the site between the Upper and the Middle Palaeolithic (UP/MP). Samples of soils and loose charcoal were collected in different areas of the cave, while particular attention was paid to the sampling of the hearths found in Area E and I.

Anatomical features of the charcoals were analyzed using a metallographic microscope in order to indentify tree species which grew in the site area at the time of its occupation. Amygdalus sp. was found to be the most common species, while Quercus ssp. (type callipronos and ithaburensis) are comparatively rare. The anthracological study reveals the presence of an open forest, during the UP/MP, which differs from the modern maquis. Over thirty specimens of Amygdalus sp. were radiocarbon dated at the D-REAMS laboratory and subject to stable carbon isotopic analysis (δ13C) to obtain information on the local rainfall regime between 50,000 and 30,000 years cal BP. These analyses indicate climatic conditions during the ice-age were unlike modern conditions.


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The ice-age landscape around Manot Cave (Israel) during the Upper and Middle Palaeolithic: new insights from the anthracological record and carbon isotopes analyses. Valentina Caracuta, Bridget Alex, Lior Regev, Eugenia Mintz, Elisabetta Boaretto. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431653)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15074

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America