Middle Paleolithic Site Discovered in Southern Israel
A mid paleolithic flint knapping site that occurs between 250,000-50,000 years ago has been found in recent excavations undertaken by the Israel Antiquities Authority, in conjunction with local youth in Dimona, in preparation for construction of solar energy, funded by the electricity company.
The youth from the city who were interested in the exploration as a summer work during the economically challenging period of the COVID-19 helped discover the unusual prehistoric site.
The site near Dimona was newly found to be small. Prehistoric human beings apparently came here and made their tools from the abundant natural flint they made
The site here is unique because of the flint knapping technology, known as ‘Nubian Levallois,’ which originated in Africa.
Researchers trace the path of this technology to understand the migration routes of modern humans from Africa to the rest of the world, about 100,000 years ago.
According to the excavation directors, the prehistory researchers Talia Abulafia and Maya Oron from the Israel Antiquities Authority, “This is the first evidence of a ‘Nubian’ flint industry in an archeological excavation in Israel.
The knapped flint artifacts remained right in the first place where the humans sat and created the tools. This manufacturing is identified with modern human populations who lived in East Africa 150-100 thousand years ago and migrated from there around the world.
In the last decade, quite a few Nubian sites have been discovered in the Arabian Peninsula. This has led many scholars to claim that modern humans left Africa through the Arabian Peninsula.
The Dimona site appears to present the northernmost example of Nubian flint output found in situ, thus marking the migration route: from Africa to Saudi Arabia, and from there, perhaps, to the Negev.
The excavation took place while dealing with the challenges presented by COVID-19, which affect the health and economy of Israeli citizens in general, and the residents of Dimona in particular.
According to Svetlana Talis, Northern Negev District Archaeologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority, “Dimona is one of the most severely affected towns in the second wave of the Corona outbreak and was even on the verge of lockdown.
After wondering what to do about summer holidays, local youths from Dimona came to the excavation to work and help their families, and to uncover a site of particular importance.
All of this is part of a project promoted and directed by the Israel Antiquities Authority in recent years, which seeks to bring our youth closer to their cultural heritage.”