The Upper Paleolithic Sites
Ironically, our understanding of the Levantine Upper Paleolithic is not as well developed as that of the preceding Middle Paleolithic. This largely stems from the rather substantial geographic distribution of Upper Paleolithic sites that stretch from the southern Sinai Peninsula to coastal Lebanon and inland to the eastern desert of Jordan. The presence of such a high density of sites in core areas of the arid zone suggests that Upper Paleolithic populations were better able to exploit the extremely dry settings of the steppe-desert zone than were their Levantine Mousterian predecessors. An amelioration in climate also may have allowed for a more intensive settlement of the arid zone at this time, but even during the more pronounced pluvial conditions of the early Levantine Mousterian, groups appear not to have inhabited such dry settings. At least the surveys of large portions of Sinai and eastern Jordan have yet to define a strong Levantine Mousterian presence. The other major problem in understanding the variability of the Levantine Upper Paleolithic is tied to a chronology developed from a largely inadequate number of radiocarbon dates. The uneven geographic distribution of the dates further complicates the chronology for most of the dates come from sites in the Negev and Sinai and are confined to a single industry.
KeywordsPrimary Element Core Tablet PALEOLITHIC Site Core Reduction Tool Assemblage
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