Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Evidence of earliest mass production found in Israel
A team of archaeologists from Tel Aviv University, Israel, working in the Qassem Cave in the Samarian foothills, just outside Tel Aviv have discovered that the local inhabitants of the late Lower Paleolithic period over 200,000 - 400,000 years ago were involved in massive collective blade production. The area is surrounded by large quantities of flint and the tools made there were of a very high quality, covering all stages from hunting the prey to precise butchering, having one sharp edge and one blunt one, so they could be hand held comfortably.
The inhabitants were part of the Acheulo-Yabrudian cultural complex which was restricted to the area now known as Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Little is known of these tool makers, who were an early forerunner to Homo Sapiens and only a few teeth have so far been discovered. But this discovery has pushed back the boundaries of modern man's existence in the area to over 200,000 years. There is still considerable work to do in the caves and it is hoped that more human remains can be found, to give more knowledge and insight into these ancient industrial pioneers.