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Hayonim Cave (Israel)



Hayonim Cave is the name of a cave located on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, in a limestone bluff about 250 meters above modern sea level. The site has several layers of occupation, the most substantial of which are Middle Paleolithic (Mousterian) occupations, dated between 100,000 and 250,000 years ago and a Natufian occupation about 12,000 years ago.

The Natufian occupation consists of circular rooms with prepared floors, with a thick midden of lithics, worked bone, and groundstone objects. Several hearths were also identified. Single graves were located in abandoned rooms or outside of occupied rooms.

The Mousterian occupation of the site includes Levallois debitage and early Middle Paleolithic blade technology, as well as a series of hearths.

Ofer Bar-Yosef and Liliane Meignen.


This glossary entry is a part of the About.com guide to Paleolithic, and the Dictionary of Archaeology.

Albert, Rosa M., Ofer Bar-Yosef, Liliane Meignen, and Steve Weiner 2003 Quantitative Phytolith Study of Hearths from the Natufian and Middle Palaeolithic Levels of Hayonim Cave (Galilee, Israel). Journal of Archaeological Science 30:461–480.

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