Elephants at the Middle Pleistocene Acheulian open-air site of Revadim Quarry, Israel

R. Rabinovich, O. Ackermann, E. Aladjem, R. Barkai, R. Biton, I. Milevski, N. Solodenko, O. Marder

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77 Scopus citations


Lower Paleolithic faunal and lithic assemblages serve as a major source of information on the behavior and capabilities of Early- and Middle Pleistocene hominins. The multi-layered Late Acheulian site of Revadim Quarry provides a rare opportunity to study hominin-elephant interactions during the Late Lower Paleolithic period in the Levant. A large proportion of this open-air site was excavated (ca. 250 m 2) and yielded a wealth of lithic and faunal remains. In this paper the proboscideans from Revadim are presented for the first time within the broader geomorphological, stratigraphic and archaeological context in order to allow a better understanding of elephants within the Acheulian in the southern Levant. The unprecedented quantity of elephant remains at the site is accompanied by large and rich lithic assemblages. Of special interest are several elephant bones with cut marks, and the earliest appearance in the southern Levant of bones that seem to have been shaped to resemble tools. The site bears testimony to complex exploitation of proboscideans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-197
Number of pages15
JournalQuaternary International
StatePublished - 25 Oct 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are indebted to Ami Gileadi who discovered the site and reported on several of the elephant remains presented here. The study of the elephant bones would not been possible without the careful conservation work of Gali Beiner. Smadar Gabrieli cleaned the bone tools. We are grateful to Pavel Shrago for photographing the artifacts and to Leonid Zeiger and Michael Smeliansky for drawing the maps and flint artifacts. We thank also Ariel Malinsky-Buller and Nuha Agha for their help in technical aspects during the preparation of this paper. The project was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 1050/09 ), Yad Hanadiv Foundation and the Israel Antiquities Authority . The elephant study was supported by the SYNTHESYS program that allowed Rivka Rabinovich to visit the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales at Madrid; special thanks to Dr. Begona Sanches Chillón, our host at the Paleontological Department of the museum, and to Laura Tormo, who took great care over the SEM photos. Prof. Adrian Lister was as always very helpful. Finally we thank Smadar Gabrieli for the language editing and the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments, which contributed considerably to improve this paper.


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